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.”

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.”

Perez to Race for Sahara Force India Next Season

May the (Sahara) Force be with Sergio Perez

The 23-year-old Mexican Formula One driver will race next season for British-based team Sahara Force India after signing a multi-year contract.

Sergio Perez

Perez announced last month that he would be leaving McLaren, also based in England, at the end of the 2013 Formula One season, which concluded on November 24.

Perez and Germany’s Nico Hülkenberg, who is returning after competing for Sauber in 2013, will be Force India’s race drivers next season. The two finished 11th and 10th, respectively, in last year’s F1 Drivers’ Standings.

“Coming here was always my first choice and I’m really happy everything has now been confirmed,” Perez was quoted as saying in a news release on Force India’s Web site, which did not indicate the length of the deal.

“This is a young team with a lot of determination and they’ve produced competitive cars for the last few years. It’s all change for next season with the new regulations, but I already have a good feeling about 2014,” the driver added.

Force India Team Principal and Managing Director Vijay Mallya, for his part, praised Perez’s “healthy mix of youth and experience” and said he possesses “incredible talent.”