Although there’s still a possibility that Fernando Alonso will return to compete in the Indianapolis 500 in 2018, don’t expect to see him in an IndyCar again this season.
McLaren executive director Zak Brown has shut down rumors that the two-time Formula One world champion will pilot the fifth Andretti Autosport entry in the Verizon IndyCar Series’ season finale at Sonoma Raceway, according to Racer.
“It’s completely crazy,” Brown said. “He would have to first make that request through us, which he has not, and that event conflicts with F1 in Singapore. It’s fake news.”
It’s unclear whether Alonso will race in next year’s Indy 500, largely because he’s not sure where he will be driving next year. The Spaniard has said he doesn’t want to return to McLaren-Honda, which helped secure his 2017 Indy entry, though he seemingly doesn’t have a top F1 team left to turn to for a drive.
What’s more, his chances of racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the second consecutive year could be hurt by the fact that both Andretti and McLaren are considering dumping Honda as their engine supplier.
“(It’s) 50-50; it could make a difference or not make a difference,” Brown told Racer. “It really depends where our Honda relationship goes as to whether it’s important there would be a Honda engine in the car.”
Given that IndyCar is a two-make series, Andretti’s only option would be a switch to Chevrolet power. Should that happen, Mclaren likely would need to have secured a new power unit supplier for Alonso to run in the 500.
Because Chevy isn’t a direct competitor for the other three F1 engine manufacturers — Mercedes-AMG, Ferrari and Renault — it likely wouldn’t take issue with Alonso representing the “bow tie” in the race. For Honda, however, letting the 36-year-old drive for Chevy, and therefor compete against the Japanese automaker, would make no sense.
Thumbnail photo via Shanna Lockwood/USA TODAY Sports Images
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