Fernando Alonso's Indy500 chances falter; second approach turned down

Fernando Alonso's chances of being on the grid for the 2020 IndyCar Indianapolis 500 race in the United States took another hit after Ed Carpenter Racing turned down his approach. Team owner Ed Carpenter confirmed that a representative of the Spaniard had approached the with an offer to race for them, but the team owner is not willing to add another entry for the race in May.

The Spaniard is desperate for a chance to compete in the Indy 500 race as he is keen to win the fabled 'Triple Crown' which involves winning the aforementioned race along with Formula 1's Monaco Grand Prix and the 24-Hours of Le Mans. Alonso has won the latter two but failed in his first attempt at Indy 500 in 2017, when he led for 27 laps before suffering engine trouble with his car.

Alonso had approached Andretti Autosport for a chance to race for their team again in 2020 but the deal fell through at the last moment after Honda, who powers the team refused to partake in Alonso's bid to win the Triple Crown. The Japanese manufacturer is still not over the treatment meted out to them by the Spaniard during their ill-fated spell with McLaren in F1 for three seasons when the Spaniard was one of the drivers.

The 2-time F1 champion labelled their power unit a 'GP2 engine' and his comment, which was a conversation with his race engineer, was broadcast live on television. The Spaniard regrets his comment and believes it should have been kept private, but the damage was done, and Honda have ensured that he does not drive for a team powered by them, leaving only the teams powered by Chevrolet.

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso Reuters

Carpenter admits that it will take a massive effort to double in size before the race in May, which was the reason they turned down a chance to cater to Alonso's wishes. He also admitted surprise in the manner that the Spaniard deal with Andretti Autosport fell through.

"We are a two-car team, if we doubled the size of our team for May, it wouldn't be good for everybody," Carpenter said, as quoted on Planet F1. "What would it take to consider four cars? Money, people and time."

"It had happened before. The difference is Fernando is separated from McLaren. It was pretty surprising they got that far down the road before they realized it was going to become an issue with how public that dispute had become," he added talking about Alonso's dispute with Honda.

McLaren confirmed their participation in the IndyCar Series after launching their Arrow McLaren SP outfit and it seemed the most obvious destination for Alonso for the coming season, but after he split with the team from his role of McLaren ambassador, they signed Patricio O'Ward and Oliver Askew.