Felipe Massa says he's surprised but pleased to see Fernando Alonso take on the challenge of the Indianapolis 500 by skipping the Monaco Grand Prix and backs his former team-mate's bid despite the mixed reception in the F1 paddock.

Alonso caused shockwaves around the motorsport world when it was announced he would miss the Monaco F1 race in order to make his rookie appearance and the Indy 500 in a deal between Andretti, McLaren and Honda.

The initial reaction from the F1 paddock was mixed but Alonso's ex-team-mate Massa is relishing the prospect of seeing the Spaniard take on the iconic oval race.

Massa feels the main shock came around him opting to miss the Monaco race in order to compete int eh Indy 500 but the Brazilian has backed Alonso's decision to take on the challenge.

"I think it will be very nice, I will be watching him and I will be supporting him," Massa said. "It will be nice to see him doing a good job also in another category in a very important race I think it will definitely be a different experience for him at a track that he has never raced.

"He will be a complete rookie and he would need to learn everything from zero but it will be nice to see him racing there, I am looking forward to watch him."

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The Williams driver, who was briefly linked with a potential IndyCar switch himself during his brief period of F1 retirement, says he still doesn't see himself making the same move as Alonso but hints it was a personal dream when he was growing up watching the series.

"When I was a kid, before going to Formula 1, I was watching more Formula Indy than Formula 1," he said. "I remember I was watching every race and I was aiming to be a Formula 1 driver, but may be a Formula Indy driver, so this is a dream.

"That was my target, but then I managed to get to Formula 1. I think if I moved to Indy now I'll have a big problem with my wife, my father, my mom and my son. To be honest I was not thinking to go to Indy, I was thinking to stay in Europe and go to another championship in Europe. It doesn't mean I don't like it but it was not a part of my plan."

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