Conor Daly, Harding, IndyCar, Mid-Ohio, 2018

Alonso tipped for first test using 2018 IndyCar aero kit next month


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Fernando Alonso will have his first test in an IndyCar using the 2018 aero kit, according to a report by the championship’s official media partner.

Alonso confirmed on Tuesday he will not return to race in Formula 1 next year. Speculation surrounds a potential move to IndyCar which would give Alonso a chance of winning the Indianapolis 500, completing the ‘Triple Crown’ of wins in motorsport’s three most famous races.

The test is expected to take place at a road circuit in September. As IndyCar races are taking place on the next three weekends, Alonso’s test is likely to be scheduled between the penultimate race of the year at Portland on September 2nd and the final round at Sonoma on September 16th.

A full-time IndyCar switch for Alonso next year could come about in conjunction with McLaren, Andretti – who Alonso drove for in last year’s Indianapolis 500 – and Harding. The latter, a newcomer to the series, has been running a single-car entry this year for Gabby Chaves and, in the last two races, Conor Daly (pictured).

According to reports in Brazilian media yesterday a tie-up with Harding could allow Alonso to race Chevrolet engines instead of the Honda units which the rest of the Andretti team uses. Alonso had a troubled relationship with the Japanese manufacturer in F1, but did use Honda power during his one-off IndyCar appearances last year.

Honda have scored eight wins to Chevrolet’s five so far this year in IndyCar. However Chevrolet were much more competitive at Indianapolis, claiming the front four places on the grid and finishing one-two in the race, won by Penske’s Will Power.

The 2019 IndyCar calendar has not been announced yet. However it is unlikely to feature any clashes with the three World Endurance Championship races Alonso is already scheduled to take part in with Toyota.

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Fernando Alonso, IndyCar, McLaren Andretti, Indianapolis 500, 2017
Alonso hasn’t driven an IndyCar since last year’s Indianapolis 500

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Alonso tipped for first test using 2018 IndyCar aero kit next month”

  1. I hope he uses that amazing helmet :D

  2. A move to Indycar with Andretti makes sense, but going with Harding doesn’t. Why throw your lot in with a newcomer to the series? Part of the reason he was able to be so competitive at Indy was because he was able to draw on and utilise all the experience and knowledge that the Andretti squad had, experience they built up over years and years. If he went in with a relatively new team he they would be doing all that learning together…and it would affect his ability to get up to speed.

    1. Ah, ignore me. It’s all clear having read the source report…

    2. It would be Andretti-Harding. So effectively he’s in the Andretti fold.

  3. Trying to figure out how McLaren will be associated with all this. Will it be a McLaren Andretti venture, like last year? Would it be a McLaren Harding venture? Is McLaren just experimenting with a branding exercise in Indy, or are they genuinely fielding personnel etc.?

    Either ways, Alonso needs to stay the hell away from Honda engines even in this sport.

    1. Yes, it would be a McLaren Andretti venture. Honda doesn’t want him using their engines (which is very good in IndyCar), so Andretti is trying to set up a satellite team (Harding) that just so happens to have Chevrolet power. Interesting arrangement if allowed. Might take some time to resolve.

    2. This year has proven that the issue with McLaren’s performance was more the chassis than power unit.

      1. Your point being?

      2. THIS year yes, last year NO

      3. How does it really prove that though Anon. Since they were pretty late at it and the layout of the Renault is different in quite a few areas, I’d think they rather botched it with the new bits combined with changes they had to make to take the Renault in.

        1. McLaren were similarly bad last year with a Honda engine.

          The one constant is the chassis.

          Toro Rosso have looked okay this year with a Honda in the back.

          1. Not true. Last year mclaren had a good chassis as proven by the sector times on some twisty bits on some tracks. This year mclaren have admitted the chassis they have is worse than last year and they are still faster this year compared to last year because the renault is so much better than honda. And this year even with worse chassis but better engine mclaren has already almost double the points they scored all of last year. And the car is about 0.8 faster even if they have less downforce. The honda power unit is total junk. Especially the 2017 one and that is clearly proven by the progress mclaren was able to make despite having worse chassis than last year.

            Toro rosso’s honda just keeps breaking which means honda is not just slow but unreliable.

          2. Let’s see…where do I start?
            I know – look at the link below and you will see Alonso had 9 DNF’s in 2015 and 12 (subtract 2 if you think he quit on 2 occasions) in 2017.

            Yes the Honda engine has improved somewhat but Merc, Ferrari and Renault aren’t going to sit on their duffs waiting for Honda to catch them.
            Interesting to find out Honda still want Alonso – doesn’t sound like they are upset with him enough to not want him to use their engine.
            They aren’t stupid – they let McLaren and F1 fans down.



          3. Not true. Last year mclaren had a good chassis as proven by the sector times on some twisty bits on some tracks.

            They ran with high downforce.

          4. @ anon

            By your logic Mercedes has had the same level of chassis since 2010 to 2018. The only difference being that they had a championship winning power unit since 2014?

            Ferrari has also had the same level of chassis since 2008. Funny how sometimes they fight for championships and sometimes are the 4th quickest team on the grid.

            According to your genius logic a constructor provides the same level of chassis year in year out. What a yoke!

  4. As Alonso wont be contracted to McLaren next year, he could choose any team to join as long as there is a vacancy. I’ve not saw any communications from McLaren yet about a long term future together.

  5. As somebody pointed out on another thread…
    McLaren & Honda will probably field a world beater next year. And Indycar will go into receivership!

  6. In the next 2 years Alonso might have 2 Triple crowns… Monaco/Le Mans/Indy and F1, WEC and Indycar champion.

    1. I think he should also do a stint at Formula E and make it a quadruple champion. Set the bar for future drivers in the sport.

  7. Forget McLaren it didn’t bring you anything good.

    1. Offer to race for Team Penske for free.
    2. ???
    3. Win every single race in 2019.

    1. Karen W Gilbert
      16th August 2018, 17:20

      Penske is only running 3 cars this year, with Castroneves added in for the Indy 500. Penske should be looking to add Alonso as his 4th driver. If he’s on any other team, and his car doesn’t fail (Indy 500 Honda), he will be a huge threat to their dominations.

  8. I think it will be harder for him to lay waste to the field as Mansell did in 1994. I think there is less room for technical and technological advantage in IndyCars such as Mansell had in Newman-Haas back then. But he is still going to consistently show a clean pair of heels to some of the people in the midfield who came up driving sprint cars and beating nobodies in Indy Lights.

  9. Well Fernando, now is your chance to get back at the mighty Honda but beating them in an good old US built Chevy engine. His popularity would be of the charts here if that were to happen. And it well could.

    Alonso did what any true competitor would have at McLaren – voice his frustration at an engine that was beyond pathetic for 3 years! He isn’t politically correct and it upsets the snowflakes and detractors.

    BTW, Mr. Honda himself said he didn’t hold it against Alonso as Honda wasted 3 of his prime years.

    1. A big part of a drivers job is to criticise the car. In the past Alonso was accused of not doing it enough as he was able to adapt and drive around problems.
      I remember when Damon Hill criticised the 94 Newey chassis and nobody believed him until Mansell came along and complained of the same thing.

      1. @Joseph

        I might be right for a change. It appears Honda MAY be backing off of their demand that Alonso musn’t drive a Honda powered Indy car (see link below).

        They surely realize if he wins a championship and or the 500 in a Chevy powered car it wouldn’t be good for them to put it mildly. I’m sure they aren’t crazy about signing him – they are between a rock and hard place.
        Maybe the fact he is driving a Toyota powered car (WEC) also has something to do with it but I can’t see how.

        Mind games are becoming obvious. This is getting interesting – I wonder if Penske has anything up his sleeve.

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