IndyCar heavyweights Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan would both welcome Fernando Alonso’s potential move to the US series but highlight a number of hurdles the Spaniard will need to navigate including a possible salary cut.

After clinching victory at Le Mans 24 Hours this week with Toyota, Alonso has now secured two parts of the Triple Crown of motorsport and has made it no secret about aiming to become the second driver in history to achieve the feat after Graham Hill.

With just the Indianapolis 500 needed to complete his Triple Crown, reports linking the Spaniard to a full-time IndyCar switch from next year have heightened while his McLaren squad remains unable to fight for wins in Formula 1.

McLaren has also reportedly been seeking a return to IndyCar, as part of a deal with Andretti, which would open the move to Alonso following his rookie Indy500 race last year with the team.

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Both Dixon and Kanaan would welcome Alonso’s arrival given the boost the two-time F1 world champion would provide the sport, having seen the impact he had at the Indy500 last year, but have warned about the sacrifices he may have to make.  

“The financial side of it, unless he doesn’t care anymore because he has plenty of money, it’s a big difference,” Kanaan said at Le Mans. “I don’t think he can come in and say he’s going to make $20-30 million a year there, because that’s a budget for the entire series!

“I think in Fernando’s position, a driver of his calibre, you want to be able to have a chance to win. And that’s not his reality right now [in F1]. In IndyCar, at his level of capabilities, and depending what kind of team he’s going to join, he’s going to have a chance to win every weekend.

“We remember Nigel Mansell when he came. But I don’t know if he’s going to make that call. I’d find it quite hard for him to make that switch.

“A racecar driver, no matter what you do, if you’re go-kart racing, if you’re winning it’s fun. And if you’re not, it’s not fun. I see his point. That I see waiting on him making a decision towards whatever is besides Formula 1. I still think he’s extremely capable of winning in F1.”

Dixon, a four-time IndyCar champion and current series leader, also warns if Alonso makes the switch in 2019 it is likely to signal the end of his F1 career but is confident he’ll have a strong package if the McLaren-Andretti deal comes off.

“I think for him it’s probably going to be a fairly tough decision to make, because once you do it, I’m not sure it’s going to be that easy to go back,” Dixon said. “I think he’ll be going down a path which will be a totally different direction.

“For IndyCar, I think it would be amazing. It would be huge for them. It would be interesting to see how they lay the platform for McLaren. It sounds like a McLaren-Andretti programme. That too is good for IndyCar.”

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