Andretti chases Alonso for the Indy 500 with a Honda engine

The team negotiates with the Spaniard for the 500 Miles but the Japanese supplier can be an obstacle. The other way, return with McLaren.


Pending accounts and a challenge, that of the Triple Crown, which will not be resolved in the Dakar. Fernando Alonso wants to earn the 500 Indianapolis Miles in 2020 and Andretti Autosport goes for it, as AS has learned from sources familiar with the negotiations. It is one of the strongest teams of the IndyCar and with which the Spanish made his debut at the oval in 2017, then associated with McLaren. The relations are good and the intentions too, but it is not closed and there is an important obstacle: this structure uses Honda engines and although in theory the Japanese do not have the power to choose or veto pilots, Honda Japan does not have to be satisfied with this class of agreements for its tumultuous past in F1.

In any case, from the block of Michael Andretti (former F1 and son of the champion Mario Andretti), conversations have already begun with Fernando, a Toyota driver in the Dakar who has competed in the United States during 2019 under the cover of General Motors with Chevrolet and Cadillac. The logical path of Penske, which is the best Chevrolet team and next owner of the championship, seems closed. On the other side is McLaren, merged with Schmidt Peterson to run all season with Pato O'Ward and Oliver Skew, but very aware of Alonso's plans: they have offered him his third car for the Indy 500 and want to fulfill the dream of the Triple Crown: they already won Monaco in 2007, they hope to go to Le Mans together in the future and for the assault on Indianapolis they share ambitions and came hand in hand. Zak Brown hopes to convince him. This year the pilot remains attached to Woking as ambassador.

Andretti has Alexander Rossi (winner of the Indy in 2016), Ryan Hunter-Reay (winner in 2014), Marco Andretti (four times top-3), Colton Herta (won in Indianapolis in 2018 within the contest) Access, Indy Lights) and Zach Veach. The last victory of this team in the 500 Miles was signed by Takuma Sato in 2017, when the Spaniard was left without an engine when facing the last third of the race having started fifth and being elected rookie of the year.

A McLaren Andretti that was not consumed

Although the chassis are common in the North American championship, the incidence of the equipment in the performance and performance of the car is fundamental through the adjustments and the manufacture of various components, as already demonstrated in the no Fernando's qualification a few months ago in a too green group of McLaren and Carlin. Since then, Brown has tried to partner with Andretti to undertake his full-time project at IndyCar. They helped good relations with the owners, a very good economic offer and their common past in the competition, but they had to change Honda for Chevrolet and the operation was not consumed.

As for Alonso, apart from the Dakar and the 500 Miles, little is known of his plans to fill next year's calendar. In 2019, the first without F1, approaches the ten competitions adding the last races of the WEC, the disaster of Indy and its first steps in the raids. Whether or not he returns to the Grand Circus will be decided before 2021, when the broad regulatory change must compress the grid. Iconic races remain unexplored, although the first on the list is played at 500 Miles in Indianapolis. And there it will go with all the guarantees.



Photos from as.com
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