Fernando Alonso's wish to compete at the Indy 500 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May could become a reality despite his deal with Andretti Racing falling through earlier in the year. The Spaniard is keen to compete at the iconic race â not only to be part of the spectacle but to also become only the second driver to win motorsports fabled 'Triple Crown'.
The Spaniard has already conquered the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24-Hours of Le Mans and Indy 500 is the only hurdle stopping him from becoming a true motorsports legend. Alonso's first attempt came in 2017 when he raced with Andretti Racing through an affiliation with McLaren but despite leading 27 laps, he failed to complete the race due to engine troubles with his Honda powered car.
Alonso was again in talks with Andretti for a ride in 2020 but it failed to materialise with reports claiming that engine manufacturer Honda stepped in and prevented the team from signing the Spaniard owing to their fractured relationship. The Spaniard had openly criticised the Japanese manufacturer during their ill-fated spell with McLaren in Formula 1.
However, Michael Andretti has revealed that it was not Honda but other factors that prevented the deal being finalised. He also claims that the Spaniard had other options on the table and seems convinced that Alonso will be on the grid come the race at the Brickyard in May.
"You're always working two deals at once, cause you never know which one is going to come through," he told the IndyStar last week, as quoted on F1i.com.
"We worked hard to get Fernando, but in the end, we couldn't come to terms, and he ended up getting something he felt that could be a better fit for him and went that way," he added. "Don't believe everything you've been reading."
Alonso back with McLaren?
All signs point towards a reunion with McLaren, who confirmed their entry to the 2020 IndyCar Series with a tie up with Arrow and Schmidt Peterson Racing. They launched their car earlier in the year and have signed two drivers - Oliver Askew and Patricio O'Ward â for the upcoming campaign.
However, McLaren CEO Zak Brown recently revealed that they could consider running a third car and admitted Alonso was back in their thoughts after earlier excluding the Spaniard for a regular drive with the team. Alonso also hinted recently that he has a deal in place to race at the iconic race in 2020 after failing to qualify for the 2019 edition with McLaren.
"We want to make sure anything we do, we do it to be competitive," Brown said. "We've got two young drivers [Oliver Askew and Patricio O'Ward], and they're our priority, so we need to make sure if we run a third car, it's complementary and helping us with our bigger agenda."
"We won't have a third car simply for the sake of having one. (Alonso) wasn't previously on our list, but now he is. He's obviously a mega-star and an immense talent that has already done one Indy 500, so it all goes back to making sure what we do is good for our two young guys."