Fernando Alonso, McLaren Andretti Honda, Indianapolis 500, 2017

McLaren confirm Alonso’s return to the Indianapolis 500 in 2019


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Fernando Alonso will compete in the 2019 Indianapolis 500 with McLaren, the team has confirmed.

Alonso previously entered the race in 2017 and led 27 laps before retiring. He is seeking to become the second driver to win the ‘triple crown’ of the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans 24 Hours – both of which he has won – and Indianapolis 500.

“I’ve made clear for some time my desire to achieve the Triple Crown,” said Alonso. “I had an incredible experience at Indianapolis in 2017 and I knew in my heart of hearts I had to go back if the opportunity was there.

“I’m especially glad to be returning with McLaren. This was always my first choice if the team decided to do it, so I’m delighted they’ve decided to go ahead. It’s a tough race and we’ll be up against the best, so it will be a huge challenge. But we’re racers and that’s why we race.

“One of the things I’m looking forward to most is seeing the fans again, who are absolutely fantastic.”

Alonso’s 2017 entry came as a joint bid between McLaren, Andretti and Honda. McLaren said further details on their return to the race “will be provided in due course”. They did not announce which of IndyCar’s two engine suppliers, Honda or Chevrolet, will power their entry.

McLaren Group CEO Zak Brown said the team is “relishing our return to the Brickyard and this incredible race.

“McLaren has a long and fond relationship with the Indianapolis 500 and it’s a case of unfinished business for us with Fernando.”

The team previously considered a full-time move into IndyCar next year before ruling it out. It has not indicated Alonso will participate in any IndyCar races beside the 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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9 comments on “McLaren confirm Alonso’s return to the Indianapolis 500 in 2019”

  1. Awesome news, I’d rather he did the full season but this is a good substitute

  2. Unbelievable. Instead that McLaren put all effort in getting McLaren to the front of the grid they gonna participate in Indy for Alonso to persue his useless triple crown. Get rid of Brown already, i’m a McLaren supporter but i can’t handle this nonsense anymore.

    1. What’s unbelievable is that you think this will somehow affect their results in F1.

    2. If they win, even if they get a podium, that might presage a full time move to Indy. If they can’t win in F1 the team will wither and die. If they can win in Indy, that would offer a future for the team.

    3. @noname You think this will affect their F1 team?

  3. Brilliant news, the 2017 500 was amazing seeing him in a it. for me the indy 500 had never been interesting for me until last year, it was such a great story and I really cheered for him.

  4. Great news. I’ll be watching. Do every year anyway. He was so exciting to watch last time.

  5. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    10th November 2018, 22:15

    Excellent, will be interesting to see if they can wrangle the Harding Chevy proposal through to replicate the Andretti involvement of ’17, although I’m not sure this is even desirable considering all their engine knowledge is with Hondas.
    Sadly McLaren-Penske sounds a little implausible now they have made their bed with Andretti bedsheets

  6. It sounds like there are those that think that running an Indy 500 car or alternatively the full Indy-Car season, would negatively impact the McLaren F1 campaign. It shouldn’t and likely won’t.
    For Indycar, the operation will be effectively or totally US based. Next to no involvement of McLaren HQ other than the paint spec. You buy the car, you maintain the car and you basically run what you bought. No serious F1 style development and engines show up in a box. You don’t (and likely can’t) manufacture parts, body-work or aero devices. This is effectively a spec series. I hate that aspect, but it is what it is.
    Why would they do this …. $illy question.
    The US and Asia are likely the bigge$t market$ for McLaren Cars. If you can bring in sponsorship $$$, and the expectation is that Alonso will do just that, then the program can, or should come close to funding itself. The marketing bonu$ for McLaren is just that, a bonus.
    I think it is brilliant and it is going to boost interest in the 500 and any other Indy-Car races that Alonso takes on.
    Just look at the buzz already. We’re here talking about it.

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