If anybody still is wondering by Fernando Alonso is taking on the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, they probably won’t be anymore.
Much has been made of Alonso’s motivation to skip this year’s Formula One Monaco Grand Prix to race in the Indy 500, and the Spaniard offered his two cents in a piece for the Players’ Tribune on Wednesday.
“And that’s why on May 28, on the biggest weekend in motor sports, I won’t be with my Formula 1 team at the Monaco Grand Prix. I’ll be in Indianapolis,” Alonso wrote. “Racing at the Brickyard. Because I need to be. The Indy 500 is one of the greatest events in the sport. Drivers all over the world know this. I belong there. Because I’m a racer.”
The two-time F1 world champion is stepping well out of his comfort zone for the race, having to adjust to a new car, new type of track and a new series all at the same time. Though the unfamiliarity associated with the venture actually are part of the Indy 500’s appeal to Alonso.
“Here I am, a veteran driver, but it’s all brand new to me. The anthem, the circuit, the racing — I’m very thankful to experience it,” Alonso wrote. “I’m going to try and enjoy my time outside the car as much as I can. Because once race weekend comes around, it’s go time.”
Some people within the world of motorsport have suggested Alonso’s Indy bid merely is a glorified publicity stunt, and while he didn’t call them out directly, he did have a message for them.
“I’m not coming for a ‘week off’ or to just have fun — I am a racer, I am coming to race.”
There’s certainly no doubting that given Alonso was the fastest rookie on track during Monday’s test.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images