Alonso will compete at the 103rd Indianapolis 500 on May 26, 2019, with McLaren
In the chase for the ‘triple crown’, Fernando Alonso will compete in the Indianapolis 500 in 2019 with McLaren.
The Spaniard briefly led the 2017 Indy 500 before retiring late in the race, and McLaren will aim to go for a fourth Indy 500 win next year adding to its 1972, ’74, and ’76 wins.
Alonso won the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours with Toyota to move two thirds of the way to the unofficial milestone, having twice won the Monaco Grand Prix in his career. Alonso also has two Formula 1 world championships to his name, which replaces Monaco in the triple crown – according to Graham Hill.
“I’ve made clear for some time my desire to achieve the triple crown,” said Alonso on Saturday after Formula 1 qualifying in Brazil.
“I had an incredible experience at Indianapolis in 2017 and I knew in my heart of hearts I had to go back if the opportunity was there.”
Alonso tested Andretti’s Indycar at Barber Motorsports Park, a road course, in September 2018.
“I’m especially glad to be returning with McLaren. This was always my first choice if the team decided to do it, so I’m delighted they’ve decided to go ahead. It’s a tough race and we’ll be up against the best, so it will be a huge challenge. But we’re racers and that’s why we race. One of the things I’m looking forward to most is seeing the fans again, who are absolutely fantastic.”
McLaren CEO Zak Brown added: “McLaren has a long and fond relationship with the Indianapolis 500 and it’s a case of unfinished business for us with Fernando.
“No Indy 500 is a cakewalk, it’s a massive challenge. We have the utmost respect for the race and our competitors. So, we are under no illusions. But McLaren are racers first and foremost, as is Fernando. We’re going for it.”
Whether McLaren will use Andretti Autosport’s expertise in the month of May is not clear, nor has it been announced what IndyCar power unit McLaren will use in 2019.