Fernando Alonso insists McLaren IndyCar seat was never a 2019 option

Fernando Alonso insists McLaren's decision not to compete full time in IndyCar next year changes nothing for him, as he never wanted to complete the whole season in the first place

Fernando Alonso insists McLaren IndyCar seat was never a 2019 option

Speculation about Alonso's possible move to IndyCar has been rife since he announced his decision to retire from Formula 1 at the end of the 2018 season.

That was fuelled further when Alonso tested an Andretti-run IndyCar on a road course for the first time at Barber Motorsports Park in early September.

McLaren has been known to be working on a plan to enter the series full time, but team boss Zak Brown confirmed on Friday that it had given up on the idea for now.

"We are simply not ready yet and we are very focused on F1. So we won't be doing that in 2019," Brown said in Austin ahead of the United States Grand Prix.

"We do have a desire to do it, as I have mentioned before, in the near future."

Brown acknowledged an Indianapolis 500 entry remained on the cards, saying it was something that Alonso "would like to do as well".

Although McLaren's planned full-time entry was always linked to Alonso, the Spaniard made it clear his intention was never to complete all of the 2019 season.

"A full IndyCar season was never an option that I wanted because of the implication it carries," said Alonso.

"I would like to race in IndyCar one day but not next year. Seventeen races, all of them in America, learning everything from zero.

"That dedication and that kind of work that is required was never in my plans so therefore that McLaren has ruled it out is about the team.

"If they were to enter IndyCar full time it was never going to be with me, so it changes nothing," added Alonso, who said he had known McLaren would not be racing full time in IndyCar for months.

"You found out today and I knew since August, so it doesn't affect me at all," he said.

"As I said, I've known from months and it wasn't my intention either.

"I tested the car in September to see what the car was like, but there was no implication for the future, as I had already said.

"When he said that today I read 'A setback for Alonso', etc. There's no setback at all. It was never in my plans and it doesn't change anything."

So far Alonso has only committed to finishing the 2018-19 WEC superseason with Toyota, but is yet to announce any plans beyond that.

He insists, however, that his programme is clear and only needs to finalise some details.

"My programme for next year has been clear for several months, but we have to close some things and some plans in some categories and with some brands. When everything is in place I'll announce it," he added.

shares
comments
Force India F1 team targets name change by end of 2018

Previous article

Force India F1 team targets name change by end of 2018

Next article

Vettel heads Raikkonen in US GP FP3 at Austin, Hamilton takes third

Vettel heads Raikkonen in US GP FP3 at Austin, Hamilton takes third
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams McLaren
Author Pablo Elizalde
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021