Fernando Alonso to Drive for McLaren at This Year’s Indy 500

Fernando Alonsois back in the race…

The 38-year-old Spanish race car driver will race at this year’s Indy 500 with McLaren‘s new IndyCar team.

Fernando Alonso

It’ll be Alonso’s third attempt to win the famous race, the final part of a ‘Triple Crown,’ which includes the Monaco Grand Prixand Le Mans 24 Hours. He has won both the other events on two occasions.

Were Alonso, who won the Formula One World Championshipin 2005 and 2006 for the Renaultteam, to achieve the feat, he would become just the second driver to do so, following Graham Hill‘s success in the 1960s.

Alonso drove for McLaren’s Formula Oneteam on two occasions, in 2007 and an infamously uncompetitive stint between 2015 and 2018. He stepped away from F1at the end of the latter spell and is yet to return.

“I am a racer and the Indy 500 is the greatest race in the world,” Alonso said.

“I have maximum respect for the race and everyone who competes in it, and all I want is to race against them and give my best.”

Alonso attempted to win the Indy 500 with a poorly-managed McLaren entry last year. A catalogue of errors culminated in the two-time F1 champion failing to qualify for the event.

He fared better on his debut in the race in 2017, qualifying fifth and leading a chunk of the race until an engine issue ended his race prematurely.

McLaren has stepped up its involvement in the series, entering a full-time outfit called SP Arrow McLaren for 2020. Alonso will partner the team’s full-time drivers, Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew, for the event.

Alonso will race the team’s Chevrolet-powered car, having been blocked in his attempts to race for aHondaoutfit. 

Alonso was scathingly critical of the Japanese manufacturer during his final stint at McLaren and it has since decided he will never race one of their cars — he since won the Le Mans 24 Hours and World Endurance Championshipwith Toyota, a Honda rival.

Fernando Alonso Open to Returning to Formula One in 2021

Fernando Alonsoisn’t ruling out a comeback…

The 38-year-old Spanish racing driver, regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers in the history of the sport, says he’d be open to a return to F1 in 2021 if the right opportunity came along.

Fernando Alonso

The two-time World Champion, who contested 17 seasons of Formula One, left F1 at the end of 2018 after four frustrating years at McLarenwithout a victory or podium appearance. 

Alonso has turned his attention to other pursuits outside of F1 since, winning the Le Mans 24 Hourswith Toyotain 2018.

Alonso is set to take part in the Dakar Rallyin January 2020 and will then set his sights on winning the Indy 500on his third attempt — he led for a spell on his debut at the Brickyard in 2017, but ultimately failed to finish following a Hondaengine issue. On his return last year a catalogue of McLaren errors in the build-up meant he failed to qualify for the race itself.

In an interview with Sky Sportsahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Alonso said he’s still happy to consider a return to the F1 grid.

“I’m doing Dakar in January which is a big challenge and next year hopefully Indy is in the plan again,” he said. “I’ll try and do a little bit better than this year!

“We will keep it open in the future, maybe Formula One in 2021, maybe hyper car in the WEC [World Endurance Championship.]

“I think in 2021 that is the reason why I keep open the possibilities. Maybe things mix up with the new rules so let’s see if an opportunity comes.”

Sergio Perez ThisClose to New Deal with Force India for 2018

It looks like Sergio Perez may be staying put…

The 27-year-old Mexican driver is thisclose to agreeing to a new deal to stay with Force India for 2018, according to team officials.

Sergio Perez

At the Hungarian Grand Prix ahead of Formula One‘s summer break, Perez said he wanted to have his future resolved by the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of the month.

The Mexican said he was keen on staying with the Silverstone-based outfit for a fifth campaign, following another successful season.

Force India heads into the second half of 2017 occupying fourth place in the constructors’ standings as it looks to equal its best-ever finish in F1. Having only missed out on points with at least one of its cars on one occasion this year — at May’s Monaco Grand Prix — Force India is 60 points clear of nearest rivals Williams and 83 behind third-placed Red Bull, while Perez is the highest placed driver outside of the big three teams in seventh place in the drivers’ championship.

Perez has been linked with a possible switch to Renault or Ferrari over the past year but has already begun talks to extend his spell at Force India alongside teammate Esteban Ocon, who joined the team on a multi-year deal at the end of 2016.

Alonso & Montoya to Face Off Once Again at This Year’s Indy 500

It’s a race back in time for Fernando Alonso and Juan Pablo Montoya

The 35-year-old Spanish Formula One racer and the 41-year-old Colombian IndyCar Series driver will roll back the years and battle together once again at the Indy 500 on May 28.

Fernando Alonso & Juan Pablo Montoya

Alonso is missing the Monaco Grand Prix to drive at the Brickyard, which will see him race against a number of familiar faces — including Montoya, who also made his Formula One debut at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix.

Despite spells with Williams and McLaren, Montoya never replicated Alonso’s title-winning success in F1 and had to make do with seven grand prix victories.

Montoya came into F1 having won the Indy 500 and CART championship in 2000 and has won the prestigious oval race more recently, in 2015. Alonso holds the Colombian in high regard from their days together in F1.

“I take Juan Pablo as one of the best drivers in the world, one of the most talented drivers I ever competed against,” Alonso said. “So to come here and drive together in the super speedway will be a massive thing for me.

“Hopefully I can learn as much as I can… I’m watching a lot of his onboard cameras because I think he’s one of the best out there. So really looking forward to talk to him and have some dinners with him at Indy because any tips would be welcome for him.”

Montoya says the chance to race Alonso, the 2005 and 2006 world champion, again was something he would not have expected at this stage of the Spaniard’s career.

“If you would have told me I was going to win a race ever against Alonso, it would be an endurance race or something, not in Indy to be honest,” Montoya said. “I think it’s great. I think having Fernando is going to be a really good day for motorsports, not only for IndyCar, but I think the attention overall for seeing Fernando and myself and everybody running Indy is going to be really big.”

Montoya says Alonso will have a steep learning curve if he wants to get to grips with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in time for the race.

“The biggest challenge is going to be first he has never done a race that is that long, and the traffic. He is going to have to learn and understand the traffic. I think if he is patient enough through the week and builds to it, I think he will be fine.

“He is a really good driver. He has really good teammates. People have run at Indy before and run well. There is no reason why he shouldn’t run well.”

Massa to Come Out of Formula One Retirement & Return to Williams

Felipe Massa won’t stop revving up as originally planned…

The 35-year-old Brazilian former Formula One racing driver has agreed to a deal to come out of retirement and return to Williams as Valtteri Bottas‘ replacement, according to multiple reports.

Felipe Massa

Massa had planned to retire from Formula One following this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and received an emotional send off at his home race in Brazil last month.

However, a surprise return in 2017 would answer the biggest question hanging over F1 today by paving the way for former teammate Bottas to replace retiring world champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes.

Bottas currently tops Mercedes’ wishlist, but his 2017 Williams contract has so far prevented a straight switch to the world champions. Williams has been reluctant to let him go amid fears it will destabilize the team under next year’s new regulations, but Massa’s return would provide the continuity the technical side of the team is looking for.

A report on Brazil’s Grande Premio website said Massa signed a contract last Monday that gives Williams an option on his services if Mercedes goes ahead with the Bottas deal. Massa would partner with 18-year-old rookie Lance Stroll, who joins the team off the back of championship success in Formula 3.

Last week deputy team principal Claire Williams said she would only let Bottas go if a credible replacement can be found in time. That sparked rumours that Massa could return, with the Brazilian driver posting a cryptic tweet ahead of a family holiday on Friday.

If Massa does return next year it will be his 15th season in Formula One and his fourth consecutive year racing for Williams.

Gutierrez Confirmed as Haas Second Formula One Driver

Esteban Gutierrez will be getting behind the wheel for Haas next year.

The American outfit has confirmed the 24-year-old Mexican racing driver as its second driver for the team’s debut Formula One season in 2016.

Esteban Gutierrez

It has been widely known Gutierrez would be unveiled by Haas for some time, with North American heritage and a role as Ferrari reserve driver making him an obvious candidate.

Ferrari is supplying Haas with a power unit for 2016, while the American outfit is also accepting as many components from Maranello as are allowed in the regulations.

Gutierrez, who drove for Sauber in 2013 and 2014, will partner current Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, who was unveiled at Haas’ North Kannapolis base in late September.

The announcement was made in Mexico City after the first day of practice at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodrigeuz ahead of this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.

“I got to know Esteban through our relationship with Ferrari, and after looking at the success he’s had to earn his role there, it became clear he was an excellent choice for our race team,” said team boss Gene Haas. “He’s young and hungry, but not inexperienced. His two years running a full F1 schedule has given him some very good race experience, and having spent this season at Ferrari as their third driver allowed him to see first hand the methodology that makes Ferrari such a power in Formula One.”

“We’re very happy to have Esteban as a part of our race team. Between him and Romain, we have a strong driver lineup that will help us develop our car and, ultimately, score some points in our inaugural season.”

Gutierrez won the GP3 Series in 2010 before spending two years in GP2, where he finished third in 2012. Two seasons followed at Sauber but he only finished in the points once, at 2013 Japanese Grand Prix where he finished sixth.

Messi: The Highest-Ranking Latino on Forbes’ World’s Highest-Paid Athletes List

Lionel Messi is rolling in the deep dough…

The 27-year-old Argentine soccer star is the highest-ranking Latino on Forbes magazine’s 2015 list of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes with $73.8 million in salary/winnings and endorsements.

Lionel Messi

Last year, FC Barcelona awarded their record four-time Ballon d’Or, FIFA’s Player of the Year, winner with a $9 million a year raise in his seventh contract since 2005 to bring his take home pay to $50 million a year through 2018.

Messi now holds the records for all-time all-game goals for Barcelona, most goals in La Liga competitions, most goals scored in a calendar year and most hat tricks scored.

Messi’s superhuman talent is why sponsor Samsung cast him as superhero Iron Man in their ad to promote the Avengers film. It’s also why his main sponsor Adidas launched a Messi icon line of shoes and apparel, which has exceeded company sales expectations, including in the U.S. In all, he earned $22 million in endorsements.

But Messi isn’t the only Latino athlete to make the list.

Fernando Alonso ranks No. 17 on Forbes’ world’s highest-paid athletes roster with combined earnings of $35.5 million.

The 33-year-old Spanish Formula One driver and a two-time World Champion secured another massive payday when he negotiated a return to McLaren-Honda, where he raced during the 2007 season. The two-year deal is worth more than $30 million annually.

Alonso finished second in the F1 standings in 2012 and 2013, but dropped to sixth last year in his final year with Ferrari. Alonso failed to secure a single point in the first five races of the 2015 F1 season. Alonso partnered with UAE sport investment firm Novo last year to establish a professional cycling team in the future.

Next on the list, Rafael Nadal, who comes in at No. 22 with earnings of $32.5 million.

The 29-year-old Spanish tennis star, who has struggled with injuries after a colossal 2013 season, saw his prize money drop by $10 million to $4.5 million in the latest 12 months.

He was the No. 1 player in the world as recently as June 2014, but sits at No. 10 a year later. He even lost at the French Open in the semifinals after winning 66 of his previous 67 matches and nine titles at Roland Garros.

Nadal did sign two new endorsements deals, with Tommy Hilfiger and Spanish communications giant Telefonica. Kia Motors also renewed its contract with Nadal in May for five years through 2020. They first partnered in 2004.

Nadal’s $73 million in career prize money ranks third all-time behind Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

Other Latino athletes making the Top 30 on Forbes’ list are soccer phenom Neymar at No. 23, NBA star Carmelo Anthony at No. 25 and World Cup standout and Google god James Rodriguez at No. 27.

Here’s a look at the Latino athletes who made this year’s list:

No. 4 Lionel Messi, Soccer, Argentine, $73.8 Million
No. 17 Fernando Alonso, Racing, Spanish, $35.5 Million
No. 22 Rafael Nadal, Tennis, Spanish, #32.5 Million
No. 23 Neymar, Soccer, Brazilian, $31 Million
No. 25 Carmelo Anthony, Basketball, Half-Puerto Rican, $30.5 Million
No. 27 James Rodriguez, Soccer, Colombian, $29 Million
No. 30 Robinson Cano, Baseball, Dominican, $27.6 Million
No. 38 Radamel Falcao, Soccer, Colombian, $25.9 Million
No. 38 Albert Pujols, Baseball, Dominican, $25.9 Million
No. 43 Miguel Cabrera, Baseball, Venezuelan, $25.1 Million
No. 45 Sergio Aguero, Soccer, Argentine, $24.9 Million
No. 60 Felix Hernandez, Baseball, Venezuelan, $22.9 Million
No. 67 Tony Romo, Football, Mexican American, $22 Million
No. 69 Adrian Gonzalez, Baseball, Mexican American, $21.5 Million
No. 73 Luis Suarez, Soccer, Uruguayan, $21 Million
No. 79 Cesc Fabregas, Soccer, Spanish, $20.3 Million
No. 79 Hanley Ramirez, Baseball, Dominican, $20.3 Million
No. 87 David Ortiz, Baseball, Dominican, $19.7 Million

Click here for the complete list.

Alonso Prevails at the Chinese Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso has raced his way to another Formula One victory…

The 31-year-old Spanish Formula One racing driver, who currently races for Ferrari, proved to be the gran campeón at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on Sunday, winning the third race of the year on the F1 circuit.

Fernando Alonso

“The whole weekend has been unbelievable. The race was fantastic from start to finish,” said Alonso.

The two-time Formula One champion beat Lotus’ Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton, who had to settle for second and third place, respectively.

“We didn’t have any problems, the tires wore out less than expected and after the withdrawal in Malaysia we took a second (place in Australia) and a first, so we have started well. I’m optimistic,” said Alonso.

Fernando Alonso

Alonso, who won his last race at the 2012 German Grand Prix, covered 56 laps totaling 189 miles in 1:36:26.945.

The fourth Grand Prix race of the season will take place next weekend in Bahrain.

In all, El Nano, as he’s nicknamed, has a total of 31 career race wins.