Alonso says Indy 500 is “impossible” when he returns to F1

Fernando Alonso has said next week’s Indianapolis 500 will be his last attempt to complete his triple crown for at least two years, as he will be returning to Formula 1 with Renault.

Alonso says Indy 500 is “impossible” when he returns to F1

In 2017, McLaren’s F1 prospects were so poor that Alonso was able to skip the Monaco Grand Prix with the team’s blessing in order to take part in the Indy 500 with a McLaren-backed Andretti Autosport entry. He starred and was in contention for the win until his Honda engine blew.

Having taken two years’ sabbatical from F1, Alonso has found it easier to prepare for Indy last year and this, but in 2021 he will relight his F1 career at Renault.

There had been much speculation that with the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indy 500 not running on the same weekend next season (May 23rd and May 30th respectively) that he might be able to do both, despite Indy qualifying being held on Monaco weekend. Indianapolis Motor Speedway rules are that the car rather than the driver qualifies, so theoretically another driver could qualify a car for Alonso, and he would take it over for the race, albeit starting from the back of the 33-car field.

Read Also:

Alonso ended that idea when asked how he has mentally prepared for the race and if he regarded next week’s 104th running of the Indy 500 as “the last chance for a little while to try to win”.

“It's a good question,” he replied. “I think I approach the race, as you said, knowing the next two years is going to be impossible to come. I will have to miss qualifying weekend if I wanted to do so.

“I will not be any more with McLaren next year in F1 [so] that will not work either. I know at least for two years I will not be here.

“Look, this is the way it is at the moment. I'm here ready to enjoy the event, ready to give my best, and help the team as much as I can. Let's see in the future what are the possibilities. If you eventually win one day the race, maybe that opens the possibility for different things.”

Read Also:

On the subject of how his racing diary looks for the remainder of this season, Alonso said: “When I stopped F1 in 2018, then 2019 it was too much, it was too active. I was racing from January, the 24 Hours of Daytona, then Sebring, then was testing, then Spa, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Indy, the preparation of the car. I had the full attack season.

“This 2020 I wanted to relax a little bit. Doing the Dakar in January, then full focus on the Indy 500. The second part of the season just relax, charge the batteries. In 2021, I’m going back to F1, I knew it could be very demanding.

“[When] the virus arrived, then we had a quieter season – more than we wanted, everybody. But in my case I just planned to do the Indy 500. This is what I'm doing. From Monday, [Aug.] 24th, it’s going to be again a quiet season preparing myself physically, mentally. A couple of simulator days with Renault, maybe attending two or three Grands Prix just to see how they work on track. But, yeah, quite easy second part of the year.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why this is Graham Rahal's best chance yet for Indy 500 glory
Previous article

Why this is Graham Rahal's best chance yet for Indy 500 glory

Next article

Alonso: Fans would love a virtual Indy 500 in future

Alonso: Fans would love a virtual Indy 500 in future
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021