Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

What next for Alonso and McLaren in IndyCar?

With the inquest already underway at McLaren after their failure to qualify for the 2019 Indy 500, what are the next steps for Fernando Alonso?

What next for Alonso and McLaren in IndyCar?

Fernando Alonso's dream of an Indy 500 win was thwarted before the race had even begun. He and the McLaren team failed to qualify for the prestigious event after being eliminated in the Last Row shootout. 

After a difficult build-up to the qualifying weekend - with Alonso crashing out in practice and the car incapable of showing sufficient pace - they were pipped to last place on the grid by one of the smallest teams on the grid, with Juncos Racing's Kyle Kaiser edging Alonso out of the race.

Whilst Alonso won't be participating at Indianapolis this year - and McLaren have refused to try and buy another driver's seat - where does this leave any future McLaren-Alonso combination for the future?

McLaren opted against completing a full IndyCar campaign and chose to only contest the Indy 500, which has rightly raised questions about their confidence in being able to be competitive.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is only one of a couple of oval circuits on the calendar, but it's the first of its kind in the IndyCar season, so the earlier circuits wouldn't have been a good guide. However, competing in a full season might have given them more operational experience as an IndyCar outfit, even with the employed help from Carlin.

In reaction to the team's inability to qualify, the head of McLaren's IndyCar programme, Bob Fernley, has left his role, and the bosses at Woking now have some thinking to do about the future of their project, or even if they believe the project should continue at all.

As things stand, McLaren would be very unlikely to use a driver other than Alonso if they continue in America, and their future inclusion in IndyCar could depend on whether or not Alonso believes they can ever challenge for the win. 

But what about Alonso? If he feels like returning to Formula One, then McLaren are probably the only option available to him. Could he risk breaking up with McLaren in an effort to find another IndyCar team?

Do you think we will see McLaren or Alonso back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next year? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

shares
comments
Kanaan “fighting demons”, doubts Indy 500 win bid is realistic

Previous article

Kanaan “fighting demons”, doubts Indy 500 win bid is realistic

Next article

Norris: McLaren right to take Indy 500 failure "on the chin"

Norris: McLaren right to take Indy 500 failure "on the chin"
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Author Luke Murphy
Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call Prime

Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call

The fight for supremacy in the NTT IndyCar Series will be as intense as ever. David Malsher-Lopez is your guide to the main contenders and six intriguing sub-plots.

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car? Prime

Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car?

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indy car game-changer that won three Indy 500s in six years.

IndyCar
Dec 23, 2020
How Newgarden delivered his best season, yet still lost Prime

How Newgarden delivered his best season, yet still lost

Josef Newgarden was our pick as top IndyCar driver of 2020 but his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield the championship. David Malsher-Lopez explains why.

IndyCar
Dec 18, 2020
2020 IndyCar Review and Top 10 drivers of the year Prime

2020 IndyCar Review and Top 10 drivers of the year

David Malsher-Lopez explains how the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series was unlike any other, and why it featured familiar and unfamiliar faces competing for glory.

IndyCar
Nov 27, 2020