Alonso seeks history in the 500 Miles of Silence

The 104th edition of the Indy 500 will be held without an audience due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Asturian is 26th in the race. Palou, 7th.


There will be a moment of silence, perhaps interrupted by the distant noise of the cars that will cause the roar as they approach, but it will be accompanied again by silence. The most massive event of all those disputed in the motoring universe this year will also be without an audience, the 104th edition of the Indianapolis 500 of the bad coronavirus, the global pandemic that is being a total protagonist this year, will be one of the strangest of always, but they will be disputed and that, in these times, is already an achievement.

Y will also be the final 500 Miles for Fernando Alonso before his new challenge in the Formula 1 World Championship. The Asturian returns with a more logical car than last year, again with the support of McLaren and willing to be one of the fight for victory despite coming 26th. Along with him will be another Spaniard, the young Alex Palou, who will seek a surprise starting from 7th place. The fight is back against the usual American teams, the Penske, Andretti, Ganassi ... and the F1 star who in 2007 was about to win and last year could not even qualify willing to demonstrate the kind of driver he is . The race will begin on August 23 at 8:30 p.m. in Spain and despite everything it will continue to be a show in which a Spanish legend seeks to enter history and win the Triple Crown.

The goal is to win, achieve the Triple Crown and return to F1 as one of the greatest ever. But if he doesn't win the Indianapolis 500 this year, Fernando Alonso could be back in three or four years. Not before.

“I come to the race knowing that the next two years will be impossible, I would have to miss qualifying weekend if I wanted to and, furthermore, I will no longer be with McLaren in Formula 1 next year. a grand prix won't work in the near future either, so I know I won't be here for at least two years. ”

It should be noted that the 2021 Monaco GP will be on May 23 while the Indy 500 will be held on May 30, but the Principality race would be joined with the Indianapolis test and qualifying weekend.

All this puts more pressure on Fernando. Or not so much: “I'm here ready to enjoy the event, ready to do my best and help the team as much as I can. We will see in the future what the possibilities are. If one day you win the race, maybe that will open up the possibility of different things. ”

Alonso will probably return, but already after his next adventure in F1. And for that there is still time. Let's enjoy the moment.

Dreams don't come true, they work. This motto could be used to summarize the sports career of Álex Palou Montalbo. Born on April 1, 1997 in San Antonio Vilamajor, Barcelona, Palou is, despite his youth, a true globetrotter of motorsport. The Euroformula Open, the Macau Grand Prix or the World Series Formula V8 3.5 are some of the alternatives that Álex has sought in his firm desire to reach Formula 1. A journey through the desert that this season has led him to IndyCar.

An adventure in the Dale Coyne with Team Goh, one of the most modest teams on the American championship grid, which the Spanish is making perfect use of. Without the pressure of having to fight for victories or podiums in each event, the Catalan seems to have found in the United States that tranquility, confidence and, above all, luck, which he had previously lacked in his sporting career.

Particularly painful was the defeat he suffered last year in the Japanese Super Formula, where excessive tire degradation and a mechanical breakdown in his car in the last round took him away from the title and equaled the milestone previously achieved by Ralf Schumacher in 1996.

Presented in the Hungaroring paddock five years ago by Adrian Campos, the man who propelled Fernando Alonso to the 'Gran Circo', as a driver who possessed many similarities behind the wheel compared to the two-time champion's style, Álex Palou is showing this week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval that Campos had not been wrong in his forecast. Qualified for the 'Fast Nine', and 7th, the Spanish F3 runner-up has shown that he has enough speed to win this legendary race and replicate the mark set by Alexander Rossi in 2016. Sacrifice, effort, dedication ... Dreams are not fulfilled

The Indy 500 will celebrate on August 23, with the presence of Fernando Alonso and Álex Palou, its 104th edition, the seventh appointment of the 2020 IndyCar calendar. An event that perfectly represents the fulfillment of the American dream. In 1909 four entrepreneurs financed the construction of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to provide a test site for models of the burgeoning automobile industry in the Indiana region.

Nor would they have thought that their work would become the most mythical track in motorsports, a mega-construction of 2,262,273 square meters where, for example, you can play golf. Two years later, on May 30, 1911, the first edition of the 500 Miles was held, which already gathered nearly 90,000 spectators.

Everything in the mythical oval is historical and superlative: from the original red brick yard that has been left as the finish line, passing through the four curves with an exact incline of 9 degrees and 12 minutes, to the impressive control tower (La Pagoda ), inspired by Japanese architecture, which has more than a thousand positions for Press.

Tradition and legend fit together like a puzzle in this IndyCar quote that has three great references in the winner's milk toast, the famous phrase "Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines ..." (ladies and gentlemen start your engines) or the Borg Warner trophy, become one of the most legendary in sport. Commissioned in 1936 to the designer Robert J. Hill and to the Spaulding-Gorham jewelry store in Chicago, it was made of sterling silver, measures 165 centimeters and weighs close to 50 kilos. It cost $ 10,000, but today it is estimated that it would be around a million. Currently the winner takes a reduced replica.

If we talk about proper names, there are three that lead the ranking of winners with four successes: AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Four curves… looks easy. 200 laps of the Indianapolis Oval, which is 4,023 kilometers long, for the 500 Miles to have a new winner. Four curves, yes, but they will be tackled at about 370 kilometers per hour and just taking your foot off the accelerator, taking advantage of slip-ups, passes and reviews in a race that will last just over two and a half hours as long as there are no incidents.

For starters, the start is not on the grid but launched: the 33 cars will start in rows of three behind the pace car, the Indy safety car, which will set the pace for several laps before the race officially begins. From then on, the tactics and strategies of 33 drivers converge: around eight pit stops each to change tires and refuel, accidents that regroup the race behind the pace car until the track is cleared and more starts launched.

It is not common to see solo escapades for victory, like Alexander Rossi in 2016 with a strategic coup. Yes, it would be to see a reduced fight between 3 or 5 drivers, and whoever arrives first at the beginning of the last lap has everything to lose: the slips are essential to understand the Indy 500, riding close to whoever precedes you is beneficial and contributes an extra speed that facilitates overtaking.

It is not clear that he is one of the favorites beyond the respect due to a legend in the motor world, at the moment Fernando Alonso is one of the 33 drivers who will seek victory in the 500 miles. As there were 33 pilots, they were all classified directly.

There will be two Spaniards, the Asturian and Álex Palou. 15 Americans and 18 from outside the United States, including eight have already won the 500 Miles and five are rookies (O'Ward, Álex Palou, Oliver Askew, Rinus VeeKay and Dalton Kellett) .

Among the favorites will once again be Brazilian Helio Castroneves who will seek to win for the fourth time. But let's go with the top favorites.

Among the top contenders is Pagenaud, last year's winner within the Team Penske quartet with Power (winner in 2018) and Castroneves (three times) and also Newgarden, the current two-time Indycar champion. It is the best team in the history of the 500 Miles and the highest representative of Chevrolet engines, a brand that it won in the last two years.

Among Americans, Ed Carpenter and Conor Daly must be taken into account: The first was born in Paris, Illinois, but like the second he was raised in Indiana, they are sentimental favorites and are authentic specialists in the oval, in fact Carpenter was second in 2018, while Daly has a tenth in 2019 as the best position but was always or among the best of that edition.

Of course there are the riders of the Andretti team in which Alonso was about to ride: Rossi, Hunter-Reay, Herta and Andretti, who will start from pole. We are talking about the team that won three of the last six editions, the main Honda team, which is not having a great season, but with a victory at Indianapolis they can make it all forgotten. Also on the team, Hinchcliffe and Veach.

Special attention will have to be paid to Scott Dixon, a driver Zak Brown wanted to take to McLaren, but is now in the Indy with Chip Ganassi: He is the leader of the championship, although he has only won the Indy 500 once, in 2008. This year it could be the top seed as he comes with three wins, four podiums and five Top-5s in six races.

They are the top favorites but we cannot forget the Rahal team riders, the Japanese Takuma Sato who won in 2017 and was third in 2019 and Graham Rahal with a great experience in ovals.

Then there are the two Spaniards. Fernando Alonso is a double F1 world champion, endurance world champion, double winner of the Monaco GP and double winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, winner also in Daytona and Sebring ... and that in his debut in the 500 Miles he was about to win but ended up quitting due to an engine failure. Last year, by contrast, could not be classified. Now he arrives with a team from the middle of the table to the top, let's put an F1 Racing Point ... but with certain details that invite optimism. For example, Craig Hampton, who made Dale Coyne competitive with Bourdais, will be his engineer. And the Chevy engine won the last two editions of the Indy 500. The team took pole in 2016 when Hinchcliffe was racing there and the frame was Schmidt. And as partners, two talented young men like O'Ward and Askew. This year they have had pit stop mistakes and must work together successfully to make the team competitive.

On the other hand there is Alex Palou, he has already achieved a podium in Indycar, but he makes his debut in the 500 Miles, he is a talented driver, so much so that he slipped into the Fast Nine and that he comes out seventh, who has Ferrucci as teammates ( Rookie of the Year 2019) and Davison (veteran who fought to win in 2017). Before arriving in the United States, he was runner-up in Spanish F3, and third in Eurofórmula Open, Japanese Formula 3 and Japanese Super Formula. It may be the surprise.

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