McLaren’s Fernando Alonso is set to compete in the 2017 Indy 500 and will miss the Monaco Grand Prix as a result.
The two time World Champion will compete in one the biggest races in Motorsport with Andretti Autosport in a McLaren-Honda entered car, with the surprising move being a result of the poor performance of this year’s McLaren MCL-32 and the false and empty promises of Honda.
Although the Indy 500 clashes with the Monaco Grand Prix, and with Monaco being one of McLaren’s best chances of finishing in the points this season, Alonso has opted to compete in IndyCar instead.
This will be the first time that Alonso will have competed in IndyCar and it will also mark the driver’s first experience of racing around a speedway.
In an interview with Motosport.com, Alonso said:
“I’m immensely excited that I’ll be racing in this year’s Indy 500, with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport. The Indy 500 is one of the most famous races on the global motorsport calendar, rivalled only by the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Monaco Grand Prix, and it’s of course a regret of mine that I won’t be able to race at Monaco this year.”
The question of who will replace Alonso at the Monaco Grand Prix remains unanswered, however, few would bet against Jenson Button coming out of retirement for one race to stand in for his old F1 team mate.
With Alonso competing outside of Formula 1 in a different Motorsport series and missing one of the biggest races on the F1 calendar as a result, could this be a sign that the Spaniard is starting to grow tired for the F1 world and tired of the poor performing cars that he has been handed in recent years?
If Alonso enjoys his experience in IndyCar at the Indy 500, it wouldn’t be surprising if we saw the World Champion of 2005 and 2006 make a full time switch to another racing series for 2018 if he decides to leave McLaren at the end of 2017.