Update from this morning- As in most things, Alonso driving a Indy comes at the expense of Stefan Wilson relinquishing his seat. Indycar has promised him financial support for his ride for next year’s race. Wilson agreed to yield for the greater good of the 500 and the series. It is a wonderful gesture on Stefan’s part. It is the same thing his brother Justin would have done. Apparently, this was the last Honda engine available. It would be nice if Andretti gets Wilson a ride at Pocono this year. Nicer still would be allowing him to drive for a Chevy team in the 500 this year. Juncos #2 perhaps? The best scenario is Sato retires at the end of the year and Wilson takes his seat full time as Honda’s factory driver.
The lack of a third engine in the series contributed to this issue. Chevy and Honda have only so many engines for the 500. There is no flexibility for situations like this.
If today’s news leads to McLaren coming to Indycar full time and a third engine manufacturer, this is a great day. If it is a one-off, then Stefan’s graciousness is for naught.
Later this morning as everyone’s head was still spinning with the Alonso news, Andretti made another announcement. Michael Shank will partner with them on Jack Harvey’s entry. Heads not only spun, they then exploded.
Bear with me. It’s been years since I’ve been this excited about a single entry in the 500. Two time World Champion Fernando Alonso will drive in the Indianapolis 500 in a McLaren backed car as a sixth entry in the Andretti Autosport stable. The car will carry the traditional McLaren papaya orange livery.
Alonso drives for McLaren-Honda in Formula 1 and will miss the Grand Prix of Monaco, an event he has won twice. It is his goal to win the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans as well.
McLaren has been in the 500 before in the late 60s and early 70s when several Formula 1 drivers participated in the race as well.
My Thoughts :
This announcement is another step on the road to rebuilding the prestige of the Indianapolis 500, but Formula 1 could also use the boost they’ll get from this as well . Formula 1 has been dull and hard to watch the last few years with Mercedes winning everything and the lack of passing in races. The McLaren Formula 1 team has suffered reliability problems this season. Allowing Fernando to race at Indy may be an attempt to keep him happy and at McLare