McLaren Racing has announced their plans to participate in the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, with Fernando Alonso behind the wheel.
That marks the return of the British team to the legendary oval, where the brand has won three times in 1972, 1974 and 1976.
This will be the second time that Alonso is doing the race, after having participated, and led, the 2017 edition of the race. McLaren collaborated with Andretti Autosport that year, and even though it isn’t mentioned in the press release, the same thing is expected to happen again next year.
But there is one small bump, because Andretti Autosport uses Honda engines, and the Japanese manufacturer apparently isn’t too keen on getting the Spaniard racing in one of their power units, after the troublesome and at times bad-mouthing Formula 1 time. Nothing is mentioned about the engine supplier in the press release, that was issued by the team, late Saturday evening.
Fernando Alonso aims at becoming the only second driver to win the Triple Crown, which consists of the Monaco Formula 1 Race (won in 2006 and 2007 with Mild Seven Renault F1 Team and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ), The 24 Hours of Le Mans (won in 2018 with Toyota Gazoo Racing) and then the Indy 500.
Alonso can’t be certain about the actual participation in the race, since we’re currently expecting 35 cars for the 33 slots in the race. We saw the same thing this year, when James Hinchcliffe didn’t make the cut, and therefore lost all chances of winning the Verizon Indycar Series title. So the same thing can happen to the 37 year-old Spaniard, because a lot can happen on the 4 qualifying laps, with an average speed of about 370 kph or 230 mph.
The 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 will be held on 26 May 2019.