Alonso's Indy drive part of the 'bigger picture'

Posted April 15, 2017

"The Indy 500, F1, Le Mans 24 hours are the biggest races in the world and one day I was thinking to compete and participate", Express quoted Alonso as saying.

Button, the 2009 world champion, is an ambassador for the British team and the leading candidate to fill Alonso's cockpit when he heads to the United States for the Indianapolis 500 on May 28.

Their auto will be run by the Andretti Autosport team, with Alonso keen to complete the triple crown of winning in Monaco, Indianapolis and in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

He signed a contract with McLaren last autumn that committed him to replacing any race driver who was not able to take part in a grand prix this year. "His auto is going to run with some guy everybody will be pretty familiar with". Alonso is taking his own break to run the Indianapolis 500 that weekend. He's an excellent driver, as we all know, and he's very experienced, so, although super-speedway driving techniques will be all-new to him, I expect him to get to grips with it all pretty quickly. "It will be hard if we can't".

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"I'm looking forward to pitting myself against the unique racing challenge that is the Monaco Grand Prix".

F1 drivers up and down the paddock spent much of the off-season in gruelling training camps in preparation for the high-downforce conditions that come along with new regulations. "I've won the race before, in 2009, and it's one of my all-time favourite racetracks".

"I was truly delighted when Jenson accepted our suggestion that he race at Monaco instead of Fernando", Boullier said. "On the planes, I will try to look at some videos and some races from the past years and try to learn as quick as I can".

"I've never raced an IndyCar vehicle before, and neither have I ever driven on a super-speedway, but I'm confident that I'll get to grips with it fast".

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McLaren's executive director Zak Brown said on Wednesday that several options were being considered, but Boullier said Button had always been the number one choice.

"Perhaps if the races didn't clash, or do it at the end of his Formula One career. but McLaren have got this approach which is perhaps different to ours, but good for them". But the Spaniard is set to compete in the Indy 500 later this year and will miss the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix as a result of that. It is the nuttiest race I have ever seen.

Alonso is now in the final year of what has been a largely frustrating three-season deal with McLaren, with his failure to finish last week's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai the latest disappointing result. He retired from F1 in 2016, but won the 2009 World Championship, and has won 15 races overall.

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