Two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso says he “didn't have one lap of kindness” on his way to finishing a lapped 21st place at the Indianapolis 500.

Alonso started 26th and had a relatively anonymous rise to 21st at the end of the famous 500-mile race as his hopes of becoming just the second driver in history to win motorsport’s ‘triple crown’ of Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans 24 Hours and Indy 500 victories were dashed after losing his clutch in the pits.

Having been ruled out of returning to the Brickyard while contracted to the Renault F1 team, Alonso’s hopes of completing the triple crown will now have to wait until 2023 at the earliest.

"We wanted to be fighting for the win, but we did not have the pace and I still [do] not have the experience needed," Alonso wrote on Instagram.

"We probably could fight for the top ten, but we did not have the luck either (or clutch...). But those 200 laps are so intense that you enjoy every second behind the wheel.”

At one stage the 39-year-old Spaniard had sat within 10 seconds of the lead but he lost a lap to the clutch problem in his Arrow McLaren SP car with 75 laps to go while he was running in 15th.

Ex-F1 racer Takuma Sato ultimately claimed his second Indy 500 win after overtaking long-time race-leader Scott Dixon.

"It was a very eventful race for us," Alonso explained. "We didn't have one lap of kindness, let's say. We were struggling from the very beginning with the balance of the car with a lot of oversteer.

”We kept changing that balance in the pit stops, reducing the front flap, doing tire adjustments, and then we started to be happy with the car.

"We were up to P15 around Lap 110, which is where we wanted to be. We spent half the race going from P26 to P15 and then we had a clutch problem on the car that we didn't know how to solve.

"We finished the race without the clutch, so from that point on every pit stop we had to push the car, engage the gear and go.

That cost us a lap and unfortunately, we kept that lap down until the end and we could not achieve anything more. I'm happy to finish the race, cross the line and have one 500 miles in the pocket, that's the positive thing.

"The negative is that we were out of contention very quickly with the clutch problem.”

 

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