McLaren has announced it will enter the 103rd Indianapolis 500 in 2019 with Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard looks to complete the final leg of the 'triple crown of motorsport'.

After confirming in August he would not be racing in F1 for 2019, Alonso has been evaluating a number of possible events to contest next year for some time, including the Indy 500, which he entered in 2017 with McLaren. McLaren was also open about its own desires to return to the Indy 500 despite ruling out a full-season IndyCar programme.

5774263478001

CrashTV: 

On Saturday, McLaren confirmed it will be entering next year's Indy 500 with Alonso under the guise of 'McLaren Racing'.

"I’ve made clear for some time my desire to achieve the Triple Crown. I had an incredible experience at Indianapolis in 2017 and I knew in my heart of hearts I had to go back if the opportunity was there," Alonso said.

"I’m especially glad to be returning with McLaren. This was always my first choice if the team decided to do it, so I’m delighted they’ve decided to go ahead. It’s a tough race and we’ll be up against the best, so it will be a huge challenge. But we’re racers and that’s why we race.

"One of the things I’m looking forward to most is seeing the fans again, who are absolutely fantastic."

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown added: "We are relishing our return to the Brickyard and this incredible race. McLaren has a long and fond relationship with the Indianapolis 500 and it’s a case of unfinished business for us with Fernando.

"No Indy 500 is a cakewalk, it’s a massive challenge. We have the utmost respect for the race and our competitors. So, we are under no illusions. But McLaren are racers first and foremost, as is Fernando. We’re going for it."

Victory at the Indy 500 would see Alonso complete the 'triple crown' following wins at the Monaco Grand Prix (2006 and 2007) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2018). The feat has only been achieved once before in motorsport history, with Graham Hill clinching the unofficial title in 1972.

Alonso was competitive during his first appearance at the Indy 500, qualifying fifth and leading the early part of the race before ultimately retiring due to an engine failure. His entry was supported by both Andretti Autosport and Honda - McLaren's then-engine partner - in 2017.

McLaren said that further details regarding its Indy 500 entry would be given "in due course," with no details regarding a possible partner team or engine supplier being confirmed.

The announcement means Alonso now has four confirmed races for 2019, adding the Indy 500 to his FIA World Endurance Championship appearances for Toyota at Sebring, Spa and Le Mans, with further events expected to be added to his schedule.

Comments

Loading Comments...