D the countdown is slowly ticking down. Fernando Alonso will only start seven races for McLaren in Formula 1, then the double world champion will turn his back on the premier class. The 37-year-old makes no secret of the fact that he sees the next challenge in winning the so-called 'Triple Crown'. After various victories at the Monaco Grand Prix and the success at the 24h race in Le Mans, all that's missing is the Indy500 crown.
Alonso made his first attempt in 2017, but in a promising position The engine started up shortly before the end. In 2019, the McLaren driver wants to try again. The sparrows are already whistling from the rooftops that Alonso will not only complete the season highlight in Indianapolis, but also complete the entire IndyCar season over 17 races.
US legend Mario Andretti is convinced that Alonso will be the Would enrich the IndyCar scene: “IndyCar is his only option. It would be a mega boost to the series, and it would be good for him too. Fernando only drove one race here, but he was immensely popular. '
Alonso tests new IndyCar racer
On Wednesday (5/5/2018) Alonso did it at Barber Motorsports Park (Alabama ) another step towards becoming a permanent IndyCar pilot. The Asturian tested an Indycar Dallara used by Andretti Autosport. After the oval excursion in 2017, it was the first test laps on a normal racetrack. And it was the first kilometers with the current IndyCar generation of racing cars, which has been in use since this year.
'It's really fun done ”, said Alonso happily after the extensive test drive. “I always love new cars tootesting. Trying out an IndyCar on a permanent race track was a very special experience. I was also lucky that there were dry, semi-dry and wet conditions today. So I was able to get a good feeling with different track conditions. '
The question of whether he liked the ride on a normal circuit better than the ride in the oval could not be answered definitively by Alonso:' Usually would I say that I like normal racetracks more because I've done that all my life. But the Indy 500 race was also a great experience. So I would say 50/50. I like how the car feels on a normal racetrack, but I also love the action factor of an oval race like the Indy 500, with slipstream battles, traffic and a lot of overtaking maneuvers. ”
According to Alonso Last year there was an offer to test an IndyCar racer on a normal racetrack. “But we didn't find the time. This year it finally worked out, which I'm very happy about. I just love being behind the wheel, trying out a new car, learning a lot from the team and the engineers. So it was a very nice day for me. ”
Andretti car with Chevy engine?
Now it only remains to be clarified which team Alonso will be with in 2019. The most obvious solution would be the Andretti Autosport team, which has good connections with McLaren. Alonso also made his Indy500 debut here. However, the problem lies in the connection between Andretti and Honda
Because Alonso is also competing for Honda rival Toyota in the WEC, Andretti is actually out of the question as a team. Even now on the test day in the Barber Motorsport Park, all sponsor stickers including the Honda logo had to be removed from the car in which Andretti regular driver Alexander Rossi was last driving.
There are not many alternatives to Andretti . Roger Penske's top team has already announced that there is no place for Alonso in 2019. According to recent rumors, a solution could be that Andretti rents the factory of the Harding team and prepares the car with Chevy engines. Teammate in the newly formed satellite team could be Marco Andretti.
In the gallery we show you some pictures from Alonso's IndyCar test in Barber Motorsports Park.