Fernando Alonso, McLaren, IndyCar, Indianapolis, 2019

All Indy 500 entrants will qualify as 33-car field is confirmed


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Fernando Alonso will be spared a repeat of his failure to qualify for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 when he returns to the Brickyard this month.

IndyCar has confirmed 33 cars for the postponed running of its blue riband race. With the same number of places on the grid for race, all drivers stand to qualify for this year’s event.

Last year 36 cars entered the race. Alonso was among the three who failed to qualify, along with Max Chilton and Patricio O’Ward.

He is returning to the race with McLaren SP, the entry formed by McLaren and Schimdt Peterson over the winter, alongside the team’s two full-time drivers O’Ward and Oliver Askew.

It will be Alonso’s third attempt to complete his ‘Triple Crown’ of victories in the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans 24 Hours and Indianapolis 500. Alonso already has two wins apiece at Monaco and La Sarthe.

He will be up against eight previous winners of the 500. Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and Tony Kanaan have all run the race once, while three-times winner Helio Castroneves is seeking a record-equalling fourth win. Josef Newgarden, the reigning, two-time IndyCar champion, is bidding for his first Indianapolis 500 victory.

Alonso will be part of a three-strong McLaren SP line-up. Ganassi will have its regular trio of drivers, while Penske has expanded to four and Andretti will field a total of six.

The race has been postponed from its usual May weekend to August due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and will be held behind closed doors with no spectators present.

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2020 Indianapolis 500 entry list

Car Driver Team
1 Josef Newgarden Penske
3 Helio Castroneves Penske
4 Charlie Kimball Foyt
5 Patricio O’Ward McLaren SP
7 Oliver Askew McLaren SP
8 Marcus Ericsson Ganassi
9 Scott Dixon Ganassi
10 Felix Rosenqvist Ganassi
12 Will Power Penske
14 Tony Kanaan Foyt
15 Graham Rahal RLL
18 Santino Ferrucci Coyne Vaser Sullivan
20 Ed Carpenter Carpenter
21 Rinus VeeKay Carpenter
22 Simon Pagenaud Penske
24 Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold
26 Zach Veach Andretti
27 Alexander Rossi Andretti
28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti
29 James Hinchcliffe Andretti
30 Takuma Sato RLL
41 Dalton Kellett Foyt
45 Spencer Pigot RLL Citrone Buhl
47 Conor Daly Carpenter
51 James Davison Coyne Ware Byrd Belardi
55 Alex Palou Coyne Goh
59 Max Chilton Carlin
60 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank
66 Fernando Alonso McLaren SP
67 JR Hildebrand Dreyer & Reinbold
81 Ben Hanley DragonSpeed
88 Colton Herta Andretti Harding Steinbrenner
98 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta

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Author information

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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19 comments on “All Indy 500 entrants will qualify as 33-car field is confirmed”

  1. Alonso’s sole McLaren-run entry was among the three who failed to qualify, along with Max Chilton and Patricio O’Ward.

    All three cars were run by Carlin last year. Only Charlie Kimball managed to qualify in a Carlin.

    1. Thanks, have corrected that.

  2. The biggest failure in the history of indy 500, a “double champion of f1” knocked out in a qualyfing of 33/36 cars.

    1. That’s double World Champion. Double World.

    2. I think when Penske as an organization failed it was a much bugger failure.

      1. Sounds painful

  3. On one hand I want him to win, to show that F1 drivers are a grade higher than anyone IndyCar had or has.
    On the other – if he wins – there will be so much smug, that watching F1 feeds before the actual start of races will become intolerable.

    1. Yep, that might well happen. Although i don’t care if F1 drivers are a grade higher, i just want him to win to achieve the Triple Crown, and i like the idea of a recent (and in this case soon to be again) F1 driver spreading wings succesfully, like many did in the 50’s-70’s.

    2. @dallein I don’t see why it would be any different than say when Hamilton likely surpasses Schumacher’s records in terms of wins and titles. Yes of course it will be mentioned, celebrated, and brought up regularly in commentary – but essentially when the racing starts it will be back to business as usual. At worst, you can skip any Alonso segments of the pre-race build up and his interviews, if it offends you that much.

    3. There are several drivers in IndyCar that could do well in F1 if given a proper car (Newgarden for one). Not having any experience on F1 tracks make them much less attractive. There would be huge upside in F1 to have an American driver, but F1 over the years has been oblivious to a no brainer.

      1. Newgarden, Dixon (though not American), Power (not American), the mayor of Hinch town. Rahal.

    4. I just disagree. When Mansell managed to achieve the feat of winning the Indycar Championship, the cars were more similar in terms of aero and downforce, I believe.

      I haven’t paid enough attention lately, but I think modern Indycars would suit drivers like Russel or others who did exceeding well in the rain, while those who faltered in the rain would hardly do well.

      Consider how many Formula 1 drivers are already in Indycar, (and Formula E). Consider how many Formula 2 drivers are in Indycar (and Formula E). And tell me they are just the step above. Midfield Formula 1 drivers are midfield in Indycar. Ericcson isn’t better than Indycar drivers. Juan Pablo Montoya, arguably the biggest name in transition since Nigel, didn’t set the series ablaze. Rossi and Sato win once in awhile but again, they aren’t challenging Ganassi or Penske drivers often.

      And you don’t want Alonso to win because of smugness? Yet your whole post is smug, ignoring the drivers who already have failed to prove that they are better just because they were in F1.

  4. Con Rowbarton
    11th August 2020, 13:25

    Really hope Fernando’s race number is a nod to Graham Hill!

  5. The Arrow McLaren’s have good pace this year on both ovals and road circuits, so Alonso will have a great shot to be in the mix for victory!

    1. Hopefully not at the expense of his two very fast ‘team mates’…..

    2. They have performed very well, especially considering they’re running two rookie drivers! I (as Zak does) expect big things from McLaren in the future.

  6. Con Rowbarton
    11th August 2020, 14:02

    Really hope Fernando’s number is a nod to Graham Hill!

  7. It would be such a great story to witness Alonso’s success on Sunday. A sweet story for the spots history to see him win. But Indy is such a beast. Pretty much takes a perfect day to drink the milk. Fifty years ago when in high school Sunday Nights of the race weekend Were so special. Because then you could only hear the race on the radio while it is
    happening, and then in prime time we saw that days race broadcast on ABCs Wide World of Sports. Those were magical times as for racing Fans there just three car races to watch.
    The Indy500, Monaco GP and the Daytona500. Out in the PNW we had Hydroplane Racing too.
    But that was it.
    Even today 50 years on, the Indy 500 remains significantly difficult to do. Often extreme luck is what is needed to have any luck. Follow the story of the STP Turbines and the stunning story of stinking lousy luck. Indys rich in Motorsport glory and if Alonso could win it would be a grand tale of Motorsport success with one histories great racing story’s.

  8. I’m just pleased that given the current climate, we still have a full field of 33 cars

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