Eric Boullier says he is unconcerned about the safety 'risks' facing Fernando Alonso when he makes his Indy 500 debut next month in what will be his first oval racing experience.
Alonso will make his IndyCar debut in the iconic high-speed oval race next month after agreeing terms to drive a Honda-powered, Andretti Autosport-prepared McLaren backed car in lieu of competing in the Monaco Grand Prix..
With the race taking place on May 28th, Alonso will make his much anticipated track debut during the first test session on 15th May – the day after the Spanish Grand Prix – where he will attempt to get up to speed enough to at least qualify.
Having never driven on an oval before, Alonso has accepted he faces a challenge, but his McLaren Racing boss Boullier is convinced he is professional enough to avoid a major incident that could impact his F1 duties.
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“No [I am not worried],” he said. “Obviously Indy is a high-speed track so maybe there is a rate even higher but I believe what has been done in the last few months and years it is now getting safer and safer even if the cars are still lapping on average over 230mph.
“Motorsport is dangerous anyway and you can get injured at any time. Of course we have to protect interests from everybody but you can't draw any decisions or anything based on this.”
Asked whether any possible injury Alonso could give Jenson Button – who is returning to replace the Spaniard at Monaco – a stay of execution in the MCL32, Boullier suggest it would be likely.
“Well we have to build all the protection in the interest of the team and the drivers, and Jenson has a contract with us in place being third driver, so potentially he would be, yes.
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