Why Alonso's latest McLaren reunion has cause for optimism
After a promising debut in 2017 was followed by last year's disaster, Fernando Alonso returns to the Indianapolis 500 for a third time with Arrow McLaren SP. Despite a hefty practice crash and a lowly qualifying, his triple crown dream is not unrealistic
It was inevitable that someone this month would eventually ask McLaren CEO Zak Brown what lessons had been learned from the team's disastrous venture to Indianapolis in 2019, that resulted in Fernando Alonso's failure to qualify. He went into quite a long explanation, but he didn't need to: he had already nailed the answer in one sentence: "I think the biggest lesson we've learned is, 'Don't do what we did last year.'"
And they haven't. The partnership with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to form Arrow McLaren SP made so much sense and it's already bearing fruit. Despite hiring two hugely inexperienced IndyCar drivers - albeit, the last two Indy Lights champions - the team has already earned a pole and runner-up finish with Patricio 'Pato' O'Ward at Road America, and Oliver Askew delivered a podium finish at Iowa Speedway.
Chip Ganassi Racing team was strong again in the Indianapolis 500, with poleman Scott Dixon and reigning champion Alex Palou leading almost three quarters of the race between them. But when dominator Dixon was penalised for pitlane speeding, ex-Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson stepped up to score the biggest win of his career and seize the IndyCar points lead
In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers
Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise
IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round
Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right
Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500
Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear
Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014
IndyCar management pleased to have Alonso in Indy 500
Portland IndyCar race contract renewed until 2023