Simon Pagenaud, IndyCar, Indianapolis 500 qualifying, 2018

Pagenaud on pole as Alonso fails to qualify for Indy 500

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In the round-up: Simon Pagenaud will start the Indianapolis 500 from pole position.

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Fernando Alonso, McLaren, IndyCar, Indianapolis 500 qualifying, 2018
Fernando Alonso, McLaren, IndyCar, Indianapolis 500 qualifying, 2018

Indianapolis has been good to Pagenaud so far this May but cruel to Fernando Alonso. While the Penske driver followed up his Indy road course win by taking pole position for Sunday’s Indy 500, Alonso sensationally failed to qualify on his return to the race.

Max Chilton and Pato O’Ward also failed to make the cut for the race, which 33 of the 36 entries will start.

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Ferrari are kidding themselves if they think the problem is just the car, says @DBradock:

Had Ferrari made better (or I should say quicker) strategy calls, the gap between them and Mercedes would not be so massive.

So go ahead, tell us that it will take time to fix the car, but for goodness sake improve your strategy and team management. That you can do immediately.
DB-C90 (@DBradock)

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  • 105 comments on “Pagenaud on pole as Alonso fails to qualify for Indy 500”

    1. Awkward….

    2. There is a small mistake in the article : O’Ward failed to make the cut, not Karam.

      1. Came here to say that, so I may as well just ride in on your comment…

    3. Disappointed for Fernando, but there’s a reason why only one person in history has won the triple crown. You can’t just parachute into the 500 with a new team and expect to be competitive. Yeah, he did okay in 2017, but that was with the team that ended up winning it.

      If he’s really serious about winning the triple crown, he needs to commit to the series full-time, with an established team. He already wasted the final years of his F1 career waiting for a competitive McLaren that never came, why wait for them to get good at IndyCars?

      1. @jackysteeg “AhOOgah, warning, warning, Rose tinted spectacles ahead” Yet back in the golden, golden era (60’s) a couple of F1 teams did just that.

      2. Alonso had a deal with Andretti to run last season but Honda killed it. McLaren should have run the full season this year to have any chance.

      3. Neil (@neilosjames)
        20th May 2019, 0:52

        Agree with this. Hopefully there’ll be a way out of whatever deal he has with McLaren…

      4. @jackysteeg The reason is that nobody cares and that it’s really only common for IndyCar drivers to go up to F1 and then Le Mans and not the other way around. It’s just a weird careerpath going down.

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          20th May 2019, 13:46

          F1 to IndyCar is pretty common too.
          25% of this years full time drivers (Ericsson, Bourdais, Chilton, Rossi and Sato) have F1 experience.

      5. It’s not Alonso wasting his career waiting for McLaren.
        Alonso was at Ferrari and lost 2010 championship due to HIS OWN mistakes, mainly. And then he burned his bridges with the red team, so he can’t come back anymore.
        Mercedes and RB never seriously considered to hire him because his speed doesn’t justify his destructive attitude and history is proving them right.
        He burned his bridge with Honda.
        McLaren was his ONLY choice.
        And Indianapolis failure was partly on his own shoulders.
        Teams win and lose together, alonsistas. Learn it.

        1. @liko41

          “Mercedes and RB never seriously considered to hire him because his speed doesn’t justify his destructive attitude and history is proving them right”

          Yep. Alonso is the reason Renault sucks today. Alonso is the reason Ferrari has been throwing away championship after championship, ending up where they are today – 12 years without a title and decidedly slower than Mercedes.

          Mercedes are totally afraid the same would happen to them. And not that Hamilton will start to act like a little brat again.

          Did I mention that it’s squarely Alonso’s fault that Mike Coughlan’s decided to make copies of hundreds of pages of Ferrari blueprints?

          1. Yep. Alonso is for sure ONE of the reasons Ferrari lost titles when he drove for them.
            Alonso is for sure ONE of the reason McLaren collapsed in 2007.
            Alonso is for sure ONE of the reason McLaren-Carlin wasn’t able to put a car on top 33 at Indy.
            Alonso IS a factor, mostly a destructive one.
            Deal with it.

            1. @liko41 You’re either clueless and very resentful of Alonso, or you are very good at trolling. Either way, all this is total nonsense. Ever British commentators and analysts (professional ones) regarded Alonso as the most complete driver on the grid at least a year into his McLaren comeback. Deal with it.

      6. As he showed by qualifying 5th in 2017, and (I believe), being ahead of Sato (the eventual winner) when he retired, put him with one of the better teams for a full few seasons and I think he can win the 500. Put him in a one-off McLaren supported by a team who also didn’t make the cut with their 2 full-time drivers, and even Alonso can’t do anything. Even if he did qualify and strategy went favourably for him and he had the race of his life, he would probably only be around the mid-pack. He should maybe try and get a seat at Ed Carpenter Racing (assuming Honda won’t take him back) or maybe Penske for a full season, perhaps supported by McLaren in a similar way to how McLaren supported his Andretti-entered Indy500 attempt in 2017.
        Hopefully that’s readable, I’m struggling to fully understand it myself but the information I wanted to get across is all there so.

        1. He wasn’t ahead of Sato (or Chilton) when he retired … they were dropping him at that point in the race. It’s funny when people say he was in with a shot and let down by the engine. The fact is that he was falling away from the lead pack as it got to the business end, and any shot he had would’ve been of the “4-5 cars retiring in front” kind.

          See here from lap 162 … Alonso and Sato were together at that point, but then Sato pulls away: 2017 Indy 500 text updates

          Chilton actually looked really good in that race, quite punchy in the last 20 laps. That was when he was with Ganassi though. With Carlin now, and didn’t qualify.

    4. Got up 2 hours ago (0715 local) went straight to TV to watch Le Mans MotoGP (recorded), motorsport is so much better to watch when you don’t know the results, that’s why I don’t bother with video replays or highlights videos, I often miss F1 GP highlights program on TV when broadcast without any sense of loss. When and if, F1 OTT or whatever they call it works and becomes available here, I may re-kindle my enthusiasm for F1 but currently the flame is getting smaller and flickering away week by week, don’t know how they expect to attract new fans.

    5. Disgraceful for McLaren to once again let down the best driver in the world.

      1. Alonso isn’t the best driver in the world because he isn’t wanted by the best teams in the world.

        1. or maybe these so called best teams dont allow drivers to race each other beyond a certain point.

          the reason why these teams dont want alonso is because he is too good. the same goes to Daniel Ricciardo, who, had to settle with renault cuz the best teams don’t know how to handle him.

          it is easier to put there a guy you can call wingman on tv an he doesnt even bother.

          1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
            20th May 2019, 1:34

            I don’t think Ricciardo’s move had anything to do with top teams not knowing how to handle him.
            He doesn’t need handling. He’s a rapid sponsor-friendly fan favourite who doesn’t cause any diva drama.
            Red Bull wanted to keep him, Merc had their Bottas/Ocon question to answer, and LeClerc got the Ferrari seat by virtue of being Marchionne’s preferred home grown candidate, but Ricciardo would surely be high on all their shortlists depending on how the market moved

            1. i bet the champions of these teams wouldnt want him there anyway.
              and that’s probably the reason he didnt got a shot at both teams, instead they chose to keep Raikkonen for 5 mostly subpar seasons for God knows why and Bottas on year by year contracts.

            2. BlackJackFan
              20th May 2019, 3:00

              Edvaldo“maybe these so called best teams dont allow drivers to race each other beyond a certain point”…
              “the reason why these teams dont want alonso is because he is too good”
              “i bet the champions of these teams wouldnt want him there anyway”

              So… which is it…? Or do you just like adding extra points when your initial biased comments get shot down…!? lmao

            3. I didnt change my initial argument.

            4. BlackJackFan
              20th May 2019, 8:54

              Sorry… but you offered three different points, at three different times. Sounds like “change” to me… lol.

          2. Top teams don’t want your precious alonso because he is too good?!
            I mean, have you actually typed this?!
            What a joke, lol!

        2. Merc would drop Ham in a heart beat to get Fernando, but they don’t need to, because their advantage is so massive they only need average to good drivers…

          1. Like it was in 2017 and 2018 lol, when Vettel choked the title away haha. Poor Jaques lol, 2006 what an absoloute age in Formula one that really is. A shame really a guy called Lewis Hamilton was ever born eh, else Alonso would be well in the 50’s in race wins and have a the 07,08 titles. But nope Hamilton joining F1 stopped you’re boy winning any more titles. Alonso since Ham and Vet have been in f1 = 0 titles a big fat ZERO. Whilst Hamilton will be in the record books either under or above Schumacher, Alonso will be rememberd like Mika Hakkinen was.

            Also imagine not qualifying for Indycar in a spec series lol, guess Alonso needs the best team as last year he could go 5th i thought he said F1 is not fun and Indycar you could show your talent more? He could not even qualify for indy 500 lol. Record books will show Alonso failed to qualify for the INDY lol.

            Record books will show Hamilton in 2nd place in 2007 and ALonso in 3rd. It will also show Alonso with 2 titles and 30 odd wins, and never actually winning a championship with Lewis in the same category lol, oh and he had about 15 years to do it lol. Whilst Hamilton will be on 6 plus championships and the most poles and race wins next to Schumi.

            1. Only to the uninformed, anyone who watched f1 closely will know hakkinen got lucky to win 2 titles, alonso perhaps got lucky to win those 2 titles (anyway performed very well with what he had those years) but should’ve had other titles like 2010 and 2012, where he dragged uncompetitive cars to the wire.

              Likewise, alonso was hamilton’s equal, don’t forget hamilton had a super debut, it’s not like just cause he happened to equal alonso his first year he’d have become better the year after, in fact if you consider the cars they had in 2008, one could say hamilton got worse in his 2nd year and that alonso did better.

              Nowadays hamilton improved no question, he makes a lot less mistakes than back then, but alonso really didn’t get any more chance to fight at the front, a bit due to bad decisions, a bit due to bad luck, who would expect mclaren honda to be so horrible after the 1988 years?

            2. @esploratore, I do agree that this feels like a situation where deliberate ignorance and cherrypicking of the facts is playing a part. Indeed, whilst dan seems to be making a specious argument about Alonso somehow not being good because he couldn’t beat Vettel in 2010 or 2012, by his same logic he then devalues the achievements of Hamilton given that Hamilton was even lower down in the standings in those years than Alonso was (Hamilton finishing 4th in both of those years).

              Sadly, it seems that there are people who, being fans of other drivers, seem to be unable to celebrate the success of their own driver without seeking instead to tear down others for the offence of competing against their chosen favourite.

              As to the question of who would expect the McLaren-Honda partnership to go so badly, well, there were some who wondered from the outset whether it was quite such a good idea. Whilst Honda might have been rather dominant in the late 1980s and early 1990s with McLaren, the more recent efforts of Honda in F1 were rather less successful – there were also those who had noted Honda was stumbling a bit in IndyCar at around the same time, which made some wonder if Honda’s racing division was quite as strong as it might have once been.

              Honda’s road car division was, and still is, not quite as strong as it used to be in the past too, with some pointing out that their road division has been lagging behind some of their peers when it has come to developing hybrid technology (particularly the troubled development of the NSX halo car, which took significantly longer than it was meant to).

              Honda might have been dominant back in the 1980s when it had a significant advantage in turbocharger development, not to mention that it was willing to spend a lot more than its rivals. Part of the reason for such dominance in 1988 was because Honda was willing to fund development of a new engine just for the 1988 season, whereas everybody else was focussing on 1989 and making do with a slightly tweaked version of their 1987 cars – however, in more recent years neither factor was in their advantage.

          2. Hamilton beat Alonso. So why would they feel they need Alonso? Alonso has whoen he’s just causing aggrevation anyway.

            I was a big Alonso fan, but he’s really gone downhill ever since 2007

          3. Fernando tried his best to get into Mercedes for 2015, like you believing that they would jump at the chance to have him instead of Hamilton. They told him “thanks, but no thanks”.

            Alonso has always been a bit deluded, much as his fans are. The driver is a huge piece of any winning package, but they’re not the only piece. Alonso acts like it’s all down to him when he wins, and all down to the team when he loses. What team wants that kind of attitude from their driver? Alonso’s never been good at building team spirit or morale. It’s just all about him, and what have you done for me lately, etc.

            He’s where he’s at because he deserves to be there. What a waste of talent.

      2. Hahaha.

      3. Alonsistas, what a joke.
        Always putting the blame on others.
        What if “the best driver in the world” had not shunted his car against a wall on wednesday, losing tons of valuable time on the track?
        Grow up, alonsistas. Just about time.

    6. Crashgate karma is a bitch….

      1. BlackJackFan
        20th May 2019, 3:01

        Isn’t it just… lmao

        1. Nothing to do with it

          and if you knew anything about F1 strategy you would know that low fuel when out of position was the favoured option. Going heavy achieves nothing when that is what the rest are doing same thing. You just get stuck all afternoon. Go light you so you can get clean air on fresher tyres to jump the gaggle ahead.

          couple of other cars did it that day as well and Michael did it at Monaco 06. So it is VERY basic F1 strategy that many don’t understand or refuse to.

          Does this need explaining every week???

          1. Sorry, but this is wrong. That’s not what you would do around Singapore, as you’d be consigning yourself to dropping back behind long runners after your first stop, with you having to take on more fuel than usual. It was a HIGHLY SUSPECT strategy, made all the more suspect with how it helped him to leapfrog the pack after the SC came out, AFTER he had pitted, and AFTER his teammate had crashed, but well before any of the main competitors would have come into the pits for their own regulary scheduled pitstop.

            It’s inconceivable to believe that Alonso wouldn’t have questioned such a bizarre strategy, and then what might have been divulged at that point, to keep to that strategy for the race.

            1. Strategy explained to Alonso: “We know it’s very risky. However if there is SC in laps just following your pit stop, you may well win the race.” No reference to SC possibility down to team-mate crashing.

    7. Alonso wins. The teams lose it….
      Mclaren should concentrate all it’s efforts on F1. Forget about Indy and everything else. Zak Brown is awful.
      And let go of Alonso, stop doing the man wishes. The team lost a ton of money and the engines from Honda because of him. Let go.

      1. McLaren need the prestige of having the best driver in the world since Schumacher in their stable.

        Drivers like Louise or Seb just wouldn’t have the same investor pulling power.

        1. Stop this “best driver in the world” rhetoric, alonsista.
          It’s been proven faulty multiple times.

          1. @liko41 Yeah, that’s why Honda were personally paying Alonso all that money to have him stay at McLaren.

            Trolling much?

            1. Honda wanted a top-line driver in their car, for their return. Alonso was the only one available, because he stupidly took offence to Ferrari drafting in Kimi (the “saviour of the homeland”, in Alonso’s words after Bahrain ’14), and so gave up the best seat available to him.

              Do you honestly believe that given the choice between Hamilton and Alonso, that Honda would pick Alonso? And I don’t mean now – after having gone through all the aggravation with Alonso – but then, in late 2014. If you believe they would, then give your head a shake.

              Honda made a lot of dumb decisions since coming back. Getting out from beneath Alonso and McLaren, and hooking up with Red Bull, has been one of their best.

            2. @krbeatz

              And what makes you think they wouldn’t have picked Alonso? What makes you think they would have picked Hamilton?

              Ferrari made many, many mistakes, including strategic blunders like the one that cost Alonso the 2010 championship. Their 2014 car was awful. In fact, they are still very much behind today, and they still make strategic mistakes. But you’re making out Alonso’s grievances to have been purely about who his teammate was? Not to mention hiring Kimi was another mistake by Ferrari – or at least keeping him for that long.

              The separation between Honda and McLaren was mutual. It was not Honda deciding to dump McLaren. I agree Red Bull is a better match for them, but that and all the McLaren problems do not excuse their own blunders. And Honda also have a very long history of mistakes and mediocrity in this sport.

        2. McLaren don’t have a major sponsor, try looking at their car. Alonso gets away with wearing adverts for his own company everywhere, instead of McLaren’s sponsors.

        3. BlackJackFan
          20th May 2019, 8:59

          That had that “prestige”, as you jokingly call it, and it didn’t them any good… It still isn’t. lol

        4. Who is this Louise you are talking about Jacqueline?

        5. Hmm, I guess that’s why Zak Brown said they would welcome back Hamilton in an instant? Zak would likely need new underwear if Hamilton ever decided to go back to McLaren.

      2. @edmarques this makes a lot of sense I’m afraid. They even apologised to him, I don’t understand it, I never saw a team glorifying one of their drivers so much, it is taking attention to where it should be.

        When de Ferran apologised to him it sounded to me like this: Sorry Fred, we moved out of our own way to create a program for a one race only, in order for us to pursue your ultimate goal of winning the triple crown.

        Why don’t they let him fend for himself? He did just that when he went to Toyota, did he help McLaren on anything there?

        This relationship is taking all from McLaren and nothing from Alonso. An investment completely gone without even making the race, it could have been be used to develop their F1 car. And when things go wrong, the team is at fault, and if they go right it is the best driver in the world making the difference. In reality who was feeding setup feedback? Missing those Andretti guys, they were pretty handy in 2017

    8. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      20th May 2019, 1:22

      Damn. Was really looking forward to that :(
      Didn’t seem the Carlin was going to be competitive anyway so probably no odds.
      Full season at Andretti next year could be the ticket.
      I would say Penske, but I can’t see the captain hiring Alonso. He runs that ship like Ron Dennis and doesn’t need a back seat driver

      1. The other two cars that got bumped were the Carlin team cars. If Alonso had somehow managed to make the field, he probably would have wound up being a lapper anyway.

      2. BlackJackFan
        20th May 2019, 3:07

        I would think Capt. Roger is even more strict/disciplined than Mr Ron…
        And the only way Fred has to appease Honda is “hara-kiri”

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          20th May 2019, 9:00

          True enough, Honda rules out Andretti, Chip Ganassi, Rahal Letterman Lanigan, and even Shmidt Peterson…
          #AJFoyt2020

      3. Penske plats it fair and down the middle with his drivers, just as Dennis did in 2007. That wasn’t good enough for Alonso, who thought he had been promised no. 1 status.

        If he joined Penske, it would be only a matter of time before he said something like this to his Spanish press buds:

        “Right from the start I’ve never felt totally comfortable. I have an American team-mate in an American team. He’s doing a great job and we know that all the support and help is going to him and I understood that from the beginning. But I’m not complaining.”

        I can’t wait for the constant trickle of Alonso comments that will be coming over the next several months, about how he will decide which team he comes back to F1 with, and how he controls the driver market, etc.

    9. Many congratulations to Billy Monger. A true star.

      1. Wow, incredible ! :) :)
        You’ve gotta love this kid

      2. @phylyp a lot of amazing stories this weekend if people would bother to clean that pesky sand out of their eyes.

        Billy Monger is among them.
        Kyle Kaiser and his team Juncos Racing also did an amazing job to qualify. They went through everything during the week, sponsors pulling off (they even ran a white car during Fast Friday). Had a nasty accident in Fast Friday. Had to content with bump day, but ultimately qualified for the Indy 500, the smallest team on the grid.

        Colton Herta, the rookie also did amazing qualifying P5. I’m putting my money on him to win the 500

        And Chadwick appointed as Williams development driver. I think she has to prove herself somewhere else, there is that tingling feeling that it is a bit of a PR stunt, but still, if she is there they might send her to drive in F3

        1. @johnmilk , thank you 👍. Instead, we drown in vitriol in the comments.

    10. NeverElectric
      20th May 2019, 2:28

      “Best driver in the world.”

      LOL

    11. Carlin put Charlie Kimball in the race. Tough weekend otherwise for them.

      I was looking forward to seeing Alonso again. I hope he is more determined then ever to win the race as opposed to being more disinterested. I feel like we will learn a lot about him after this massive failure. Showing up at Detroit with a helmet would be a total boss move.

    12. A lot of negative comments about Alonso and Mclaren.

      I think the whole team would have been kidding themselves if they thought it would be easy to get to grips with Indy starting from the ground up. Considering the issues they’ve had all week, it’s hardly a surprise. Even if they made the race it would have been nothing more than an extended test.

      Do I think Mclaren should be diverting resources to an Indy entry? No, they should focus on F1 entirely. Having said this, Mclaren sell road cars, and America is a key market for them. Having a presence at the 500, which still gets a massive audience, is a sensible marketing decision. Zak Brown is a marketing guy, he doesn’t pretend to be otherwise. The share holders of Mclaren Group have hired him to do a particular job which I believe is what he is doing. He has restructured the F1 team and we will see them continue to improve.

      This Alonso master puppeteer none sense has to stop. What benefit is to Mclaren if Alonso is constantly welding his purported political clout within the team? Maybe he’s sitting on another pile of incriminating emails? Hahaha.

      Anyways, if Fernando wants to win the 500, as many have said, he needs to commit to a full season. It should be a partnership with Andretti.

      1. @jaymenon10, a deal with Penske might make more sense, since they are both one of the major powerhouses in IndyCar and aligned with Chevrolet – Andretti are aligned with Honda, and that might be politically difficult to pull off as a result.

    13. Alonso left F1 because only a few teams could win and he could not get a winning car, if he was as good as Jaques and Big Joes say, then why would’t Merc just not renew Hamilton and put Alonso in the car, same with Ferrari. Funny how Alonso thought he could do it in Indy Car as you can show the talent more. Guess Alonso will need a top team aswell just like he would in F1.

    14. Imagine not being able to get in the top 30 cars lol in a series easier to show the skills, Alonso would lose 21-0 to Hamilton in qually would probably lose 16-5 to Bottas aswell.

      1. The f1 data disagrees with this, it says it’d be very competitive at least in race trim.

      2. It just shows that even the best driver in the world can’t drag a poor car around Indy because ovals are all about setup.

        If that was a road course I’m confident he could have hopped in the car and stuck it on pole!

    15. History will always remeber Lewis far more Jaques, the last guy to win with Mclaren btw. The Man who left Mclaren and they have done nothing since. The guy who will be in the 100 in race wins and side by side with GOAT Schumacher. Alonso never even won a WC since Vettel and Hamilton enterd F1 lol. Hilarious. Alonso era ended when Schumi retired 2006. Alonso was phenom as a youngster but an even better won joined and fate would have it the guy who stopped Alonso from winnign more titles is the guy who will be the one talked of in same breat as Chumacher, same statistics aswell.

      Afterall not Louie and Alonso would have won 07,and 08 i bet it really hurts that there was this driver who was born Lewis Hamilton and fate would have it he would clean up and Alonso would not win a thing since Hamilton enterd. 2006 LOL oh well at least you can watch the dvd’s of them years.

    16. Fred was beat by Pippa Mann, a once a year amateur driver. Not even the criminal Briatore could save hm.

    17. BlackJackFan
      20th May 2019, 6:11

      Hi Keith – thanks for the Euroformula Open link. Where I am currently living it is difficult, and very expensive, to keep in touch with motorsport, so I limit myself to F1 and IndyCar… Thus I rarely get to see the lower formulae and wouldn’t have seen this without your link.
      It was also great to see you have a “day-job” – or another string to your bow. Wonderful intelligent, sane and mature commentary, without the screaming histrionics of certain other commentators.
      As for young Mr Monger – the first disabled World Champion in five years time…? Everything is possible.

      1. Thanks very much, glad you enjoyed the commentary. I don’t get to do many these days but wasn’t going to pass up the chance to go to Pau. It was an absolutely splendid weekend, not just for the quality of the racing in the two Euroformula events I got to commentate on, but it’s an utterly charming event to visit.

    18. i agree with someone that said mclaren should concentrate on f1. altho mclaren in indy is part of its historical heritage. but again mclsren dropped the ball. they were right to take hondas engines. they shud hav stuck it out. red bull with verstappen is doing wonders with the same engine… Mclaren need to give themselves realistic targets. which in f1 since d loss of alonso i think they starting to do….

    19. Mclaren not qualifying at indy shows how competitive it is in indycar, something we never get in f1. They were ill prepared, only had one chassis built, then had to borrow one. It shows how much you lose if you don’t have a solid week of practise for the indy500, mclaren lost too much time over the course of the week. They should have commuted to the full season. They are still only half committed for next season, alonso would do better to dump mclaren and run an andretti built car again.

      1. Like you can expect to show up with a newly built F1 car and then set a quali lap and get within 107%.

    20. Best driver in the world. If I shook my head more, i would give myself a headache.

      Indy car is basically a spec series. According to the comments on here, that’s exactly how to tell the good drivers from the bad ones.

      McLaren, as poor as they’ve been in F1, are not silly enough to enter Indy without some people who know how to set a car up for the place.

      And he didn’t just qualify badly, he wasn’t fast enough to make the grid. At all.

      No one rates Chilton as GOAT, or even close to it, I assume?

      Alonso believes his own hype a little too much.

      1. DAllein (@)
        20th May 2019, 9:49

        Which of the last 20 years exactly showed McLaren knows how to set the car up?

        P.S. Yes, they won some races, but not a single Constructor’s Championship in this time… which means…

      2. @sham, although IndyCar is a spec series, that same spec series has seen just three teams – Penske, Andretti and Ganassi – dominate the series for 16 years back to back and counting, both in terms of winning team and in terms of winning driver. It’s still happening now, in fact, with drivers from those teams taking the top four positions in the drivers title – they have, and will continue for years, to rule IndyCar.

        There are only two entrants in the IndyCar series – Tony Kanaan and Hélio Castroneves – who raced in the last season (2002) where somebody other than one of the drivers from Penske, Andretti or Ganassi won the title. Both of them are in their mid 40s now, whilst the team that won back in 2002 (Panther Racing) was declared defunct after going bankrupt five years ago.

        Over that same period, the Indianapolis 500 has also been dominated by those same three teams – since 2002, they have won the Indianapolis 500 13 times. Whilst fans might like to suggest that a spec series is the way to tell a good driver from a bad one, in practise the IndyCar series gives the lie to that notion – it is still the wealthiest and best resourced teams that dominate IndyCar.

    21. Quite a shock result from Monger, especially considering the reputation of the Pau Grand Prix.

      But then I read “Euroformula Open”, a.k.a. the ESC of European motorsports (or maybe even the Madonna of the ESC of European motorsports …).
      You know, that series that was utterly dominated (14 starts, 12 wins) in 2017 by a certain Harrison Scott, whose next career station was a pretty average season in IndyCar’s third tier (then called “Pro Mazda championship”), before completely falling off the radar in 2019.
      Also, the series that was utterly dominated (16 starts, 14 wins and 2 second places) by a certain Felipe Drugovich, who is currently sitting a point-less 11th in the ‘real’ F3 championship …

      1. I would say the standard is a fair bit higher this year. The FIA F3/GP3 merger and subsequent collapse of Formula European Masters before the season began has meant the likes of Motopark have moved into the series. They’ve brought two Red Bull Junior Team drivers with them – Liam Lawson and Yuki Tsunoda – both of which are quick – and withtheir other two drivers Motopark locked out the first four places for the grand prix itself.

        So I don’t think it’s far to judge Monger’s victory by the standards of last year’s field which, as you say, was dominated by RP. Interestingly, they skipped Pau, rumour has it they’re switching engine suppliers, so expect them to come back stronger.

        1. @keithcollantine
          Fair points, I may have been a bit quick to judge. Time will tell whether I have to reconsider my opinion.

    22. And anyway, huge congratulations to Billy Monger.
      What this guy is doing is astonishing.
      What an inspiration!

    23. As bad as I feel for Alonso and McLaren, I can’t help feeling that they needed this taste of humble pie. In 2017 they paid Andretti to run another car and got the benefit of all that team’s experience and the data that was generated by 6 cars running on track. Alonso is a cerebral driver, he took all that in and performed exceptionally well until his engine went pop. This year, they turned up with a brand new team, a single car entry and I got the sense that they thought they’d be at the sharp end just…well…just because they are McLaren.

      I love IndyCar but don’t profess to be an expert in it or the Indy 500…but I see no reason why that should have been the case. Alonso is world class, but so are the other top IndyCar drivers and they do this full time and have more than 1 Indy 500 start to their name. F1 teams may be massive behemoths compared to IndyCar teams, but the crack outfits are all full of great people and they have years and years of data and experience to fall back on…they have literally forgotten more about what it takes to go quickly at the Brickyard than McLaren have learned to date. All that showed this month. I hope McLaren learn from this, rethink their approach and come back to the 2020 Indy 500 stronger.

      1. They should have run a full season to build up their experience and put it down as a multi-year effort to win the 500. To be fair(ish) this year they couldn’t team up with Andretti (assuming Andretti would want to) because McLaren burned their bridges with Honda so it had to be a Chevy team.

        They went with a technical partnership with Carlin who are only in their second year and you saw the result. Alonso out along with O’Ward and Chilton and only Kimball through. They just couldn’t get the car set up all weekend. There are rumours on twitter that McLaren were quoted $2m on Saturday night for a car and setup from Ed Carpenter to run on Sunday. Take that with a pinch of salt but it’s clear McLaren were shopping around for a solution as they ran Andretti dampers and a Penske setup on Sunday. It might have paid off if they’d got a bit of running in practice as the car looked much more stable in the final run.

    24. Why was my comment about crybabies alonsistas removed?
      Is it censorship?

      1. The only thing that’s keeping you from appreciating the fine irony of being a crybaby about having a comment about crybabies deleted, is an iota of maturity.

        1. What do we have here?
          An Alonso’s groupie, wee-wee.
          Rotfl

          1. @liko41
            I guess you’re proving my point?

      2. BlackJackFan
        20th May 2019, 18:39

        I know Liberty et al are keen, née desperate, to bring more youngsters into F1 fandom but do they all have to comment here…?
        Just curious… Lel.

    25. I don’t follow Indy closely but Isn’t Indy just full throttle 100%? I didn’t think there was much driver skill in quali, more just car setup. So are the criticisms of Alonso fair?

      The race with the slipstreaming is a different matter.

      1. It can be full throttle full time but it rarely is. Then there’s the steering. There’s gear changes. Adjustment to the anti-roll bars. Weight Jacker adjustment. There’s a lot going on in the cockpit and then on the weekend the cross winds were playing hell with the handling. Getting a good lap at Indy is hard, getting 4 in a row is immensely difficult.

    26. Too bad for Alonso and McLaren, but overall good for INDYCAR in the big picture, shows that you can’t just come in and succeed which creates intrigue in the event.

      In the short run, they just lost a large portion of their overseas audience for this years race. But then again, they have done their best to kill any momentum they had built up with their switch over to NBC and the streaming deals they made with the same entity. Trying to introduce possible new fans to the sport outside the US is made pretty much impossible.

      1. @uneedafinn2win

        Too bad for Alonso and McLaren, but overall good for INDYCAR in the big picture, shows that you can’t just come in and succeed which creates intrigue in the event.

        This comment is pertinent only if you ignore the 2017 Indy 500, where Alonso pretty much just did that.

        In the short run, they just lost a large portion of their overseas audience for this years race.

        This bit, however, is all too true. With Alonso, I would’ve had half a reason to watch the race. Without him, nope.

        1. This comment is pertinent only if you ignore the 2017 Indy 500, where Alonso pretty much just did that.

          I disagree. In 2017 it was Andretti team car with McLaren wponsorship. It’s like putting him into Mercedes in F1 now and saying surprisingly: “look, he can lead the race, he’s definitely great”. His WEC-run was even more challenging – driving a Toyota in the Toyota-class.
          P.S. Not a hater, but I just always thought Fernando had the ego of a size not proportional to his actual achievments. I mean, man has a museum of his name. Still I miss him, it’s less fun to follow F1 without him.

        2. So, you are not interested in Indy 500 or Indycar.
          You are just an Alonso fan.
          Not a great loss for Indycar.

          1. BlackJackFan
            21st May 2019, 3:01

            And the value of this comment is… er… what, exactly…?
            Apart from making you feel proud of yourself…

    27. How low can McLaren sink? Fail to qualify in a spec series?

      I am sorry. Indy 500 is not for weekend warriors. It is very ignorant to parachute in to a highly specialized series and think of winning it outright.

      That is why Mercedes doesn’t do LeMans, they would have a tough time against Toyota, so would RedBull and so would Ferrari.

      Triple crown is not for the faint at heart, certainly Alonso has no chance with McLaren, considering they are rookies at Indy500.

    28. I couldn’t agree more with the COTD: Yes, Ferrari should improve the overall package of their car, but the strategy-side is indeed something that needs fixing as well.

    29. Being “The best driver in the world” is more than being the best wheel-man. In Motorsport, there is more to it than that. Let’s assume for a minute that Alonso truly is the best person behind the wheel. Being the best driver also means being a good leader and motivating a team to want to win as opposed to bullying and manipulating them into it. It means being a team player and working with a team to improve rather than blaming them when things go wrong. It means being a good communicator and giving good feedback to the engineers that they can use to improve and not just complaining. It means having an accurate assessment of where your own strengths and weaknesses lie and not just being a braggart to compensate for your shortcomings.

      I would argue that Alonso is none of those things. From what I’ve been able to see of his career in 20-odd years, he is a bully, a braggart, and a complainer. He appears to show poor sportsmanship and is a prima donna. He is an excellent wheel-man. Of that there is no doubt, but he is not the “best driver” by my definition.

    30. No excuses guys, Kimball was well up the grid, Alonso just aint all that. The sooner Mclaren ditch him the better, they literally are bending over backwards for him move on, you owe him nothing. Just because they built a bad f1 car they seem to think they owe him something. Remember whop cost you a 50 million fine eh….

      Go and win another token LeMans

    31. Why do Mclaren keep bending over backwards for the guy stop feeling guilty you built a dog for him in F1, remember 2007? Dint see Kimball fail to qualify lol. Alonso just aint all that, go and get another token Le Mans

    32. Alonso would have 8 or 9 championships if Vettel and Hamilton were not born from their mother’s. Alonso=Zero F1 titles since Hamilton and Vettel joined F1. Pretty embarassing

    33. I follow RaceFans since 2014. I’ve always loved it’s unique combination of high quality articles with vibrant and respectful debates. Many times I’ve been even more interested in the “comments” section than in the article itself! The information is still amazing (Keith, Dieter, you are great!), but I’m starting to miss those old good days of the F1Fanatic community. Am I the only one feeling the same?

      1. BlackJackFan
        20th May 2019, 18:48

        No, I think there are many of us who regret the arrival of the adolescents here…

    34. I’m honestly getting tired of censorship in this section.
      People could talk as bad as they want, but nobody could hold Alonsistas accountable for their foolishness.
      Is Keith an Alonsista? Oops.

      1. BlackJackFan
        20th May 2019, 18:46

        And many of us are tired of adolescent comments.

    35. NeverElectric
      20th May 2019, 21:03

      The lovely and very nice Mr Alonso strikes again.
      McLaren Indy Car president kicked out after Alonso failed to qualify.

      What a coincidence that this sort of thing seems to happen at every team Alonso joins…and wrecks…

      https://www.racefans.net/2019/05/20/mclaren-indycar-president-fernley-leaving-team-after-alonso-fails-to-qualify-for-indy-500/

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