McLaren’s relationship with Fernando Alonso “has never been stronger” despite the team’s failure to qualify for this year’s Indianapolis 500, according to CEO Zak Brown.

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso is aiming to become only the second driver in history to complete the ‘triple crown of motorsport’ by winning the Indy 500, and entered the race for a second time this year with McLaren.

However, a number of operational issues led to Alonso missing out on a place in the 33-car field, qualifying 34th last weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Despite this setback, McLaren Racing CEO Brown stressed it had not changed the team’s relationship with Alonso when asked by about any potential impact in Monaco on Thursday.

“Our relationship with Fernando has never been stronger,” Brown said.

“He was obviously very disappointed. We let him down. He deserved to be in the race, he was an absolute star as he always has been when he’s raced with us.”

Alonso only has one more confirmed race outing at present – the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, after which he will leave the FIA World Endurance Championship – but Brown said he is not directly involved in the Spaniard’s future plans.

“What he does post-Le Mans is up to Fernando. We have a contract with him for some McLaren activities,” Brown said.

“I think when you come off an emotional weekend like that you want to take some time to reflect and see what he wants to do in the future.

“If that aligns with some of McLaren’s activities, then that would be great, but just like he’s been driving with Toyota, I think he’s a bit undecided on what he wants to do yet.

“So we will pick up those conversations when I see him in Le Mans.”



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