Fernando Alonso needs to win the 500 Miles of Indianapolis in order to conquer the coveted Triple Crown of Motorsports. This honorary title, only ever achieved by the Briton Graham Hill before, consists of winning all the following three races: The Formula 1 Monaco GP, the 24 hours of Le Mans and the Indy 500.
The Spanish champion has already won the GP in the streets of the Principality (2006 and 2007) as well as the French endurance race (2018 and 2019) and so he only needs to conquer the Brickyard in order to make it into the motorsports’ history books.
After taking part in the Dakar Rally, Alonso has focused his efforts on finding a competitive team that would allow him to fight for the victory at what will be his third (2017 and 2019) time at the Indy 500. This year’s edition is due to take place on the 26th of May.
And that is where Andretti Autosport-Honda comes in. In 2017 Alonso had his debut of the legendary race onboard his #29 single-seater. The experience could not have been better.
The Spaniard started in fifth place and at one point he got to lead the race but at 31 laps from the end a fault in his Honda engine robbed him of his dream. His teammate Ryan Gunter-Ready suffered the same fate.
That initial adventure left both him and the scuderia very pleased with their collaboration and a long-standing relationship of trust was born that has lasted until today. Now, it seems that both parties could be close to reaching an agreement although there might still be some financial hurdles to overcome.
So far Alonso does not have a sponsor as in 2017 and 2019 he raced with the support of McLaren. Taking into account all costs; engines, staff, logistics, etc, the necessary sponsorship money amounts to approximately one million euros. If the Spaniard is unable to find a sponsor, however, he might be able to self-finance through his own surfing clothes line business: Kimoa.
Competing again with the Japanese engines was not really part of Alonso’s plans given the disastrous experience he had with them over his last four years in Formula One.
In America, however, it is not the Tokio factory that supplies the engines but a manufacturing branch based in the USA and that is solely destined to supply IndyCar.
Alonso’s first choice was to drive for Penske and thus be able to have a Chevrolet engine, but this was not an option. Getting into Andretti with their Honda engines was then the most interesting alternative of those available.
Regardless of the team that he ends up with, the champion from Asturias is eager to make up for his ‘bad adventure’ of 2019 with McLaren. On that occasion, a ruinous vehicle had him suffer a terrible accident during training and, on classifying, he didn’t even make it into the top 33, a necessary requirement to take part in the race.
After the enormous disappointment, it seemed obvious that he wouldn’t have another go with the Woking team, even more so now that he has completely cut ties with the British team and abandoned his role as an ambassador for the brand.
Something else that still remains unknown if he finally signs with Andretti is if he will only take part in the 500 Miles of Indianapolis or if, on the other hand, he participates in other races of the IndyCar calendar.
Images of Fernando Alonso: IndyCar.