Yes, it’s happening! Despite earlier stirrings, Fernando Alonso – who one of this author’s most favored Formula 1 drivers, past and present – will be contesting the Indy 500 with McLaren after all. Due to his remarks about the Honda-supplied powerplant during his last years at the Woking outfit, it was rumored he would not contest the May motorsport spectacle with McLaren. Surprise, surprise. It will be great to see the Spaniard contest the 500 once again. If he wins, he would be come only the second driver in history to win the Monaco GP, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indy 500. One can only hope!
It wasn’t long ago when Fernando Alonso was leading the pack at the Brickyard. And it was no surprise when the Honda engine powering his Andretti-tuned Dallara blew up and relegated the Spaniard to a DNF at the Indy 500.
There was much anticipation for this year’s running of the race, with McLaren supposedly utilizing this opportunity to gauge a full time entry into the US-based open wheel series in addition to continuing their association with the two-time F1 champion.
But as with most things McLaren as of late, Alonso suffered a series of mishaps which prevented him from having another shot at the Borg Warner trophy. Think Robin Miller’s article on Racer.com summed up – politely – what happened. Lack of experience, humility and time. Yep.
(By the way, please support Racer.com – it’s run by some dear long-time friends in the business – Paul and Bill – both of whom are lifelong gear heads truly true to the game)
Here’s what we think Fernando should do to improve his chances of winning motorsport’s “triple crown”:
- End the silly association / relationship with McLaren – since the ousting of Ron Dennis, the Woking operation has been, basically, a shit show. Zak Brown has no idea what he’s doing. And what the hell is the purpose of Gil de Ferran collecting a paycheck as “sporting director”? Why let Mc:Laren’s indecision and lack of commitment prevent you from Indy success?
- Race Indycar full time – Alonso is arguably one of the best drivers of his generation, but even he needs some time to acclimate to a new car, new form of racing, etc. He’s already a champion in F1 and WEC. Nothing left to prove in those series.
- Win the Indy 500 and the Indycar championship while you’re at it – it’s hard to fathom Alonso NOT doing well in Indycar. And surely, it’s going to be great for ratings – bringing his GLOBAL fanbase to Indycar – and i’m sure he can bring heaps of sponsorship dollars with him. So why not someone like Roger Penske sign him to a full ride?
- Then go win Dakar. Why not add yet another memento to what must be a HUGE trophy case at the Museo Y Circuito Fernando Alonso?
As American Express would say, “Membership has its privileges.” And that’s certainly the case with membership in the Motor Press Guild.
At their latest Power Tour event, one designed to “open the doors” to some of the best private automotive collections around, we were treated to three stops. Starting with an immaculate collection of hot rods and customs, then a collection of race cars that competed in some of the hallmark open wheel events in the US, and a final stop at the newly opened Honda Museum, we were treated to sights that are not open to the public.
But that doesn’t mean we can share our experience with you. Check out the following photos of some of the baddest cars & race cars in Southern California and make sure you have a napkin on hand to wipe the drool from your face!