Alonso to stick with McLaren, but leave F1?

Sunday, 10 juny 2018, 05:32 , by Matthew Scott

Zak Brown has hinted that Fernando Alonso will remain behind the wheel of a McLaren in 2019, although it may not be a Formula 1 car. Having entered last year's Indianapolis 500 with the Spaniard, Alonso's desperation for the 'Triple Crown' could be sated with a 2019 drive in IndyCar.

Alonso will make his first attempt at the Le Mans 24 Hours next week, where victory would see him earn a second leg of the trio of Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans and Indy 500.

Matching Graham Hill's unique feat has become a focus for Alonso after a 2015 move to McLaren dropped him out of contention in F1, with the two-time world champion growing increasingly disillusioned with what he believes has become a "predictable" championship.

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Having entertained Alonso's desire to race in Indy and add a World Endurance Championship schedule to his F1 commitments, Brown has suggested that Alonso may be allowed to walk away from the F1 team, but remain contracted to the British team.

"We're in talks with Fernando, as he said it was about this time last year that we started having conversations," Brown said.

"He's been doing Formula 1 a long time, he's enjoying driving as much as he ever has. I think he's driving better than he ever has.

"As he's mentioned I think he's a little frustrated with Formula 1, as he said, becoming more of a constructors' championship than a drivers' championship.

"He loves Formula 1, he loves World Endurance and Daytona, so hopefully we will keep Fernando in the McLaren environment in some way, shape or form."

McLaren entered IndyCar for last year's showpiece race at the Brickyard, but a full-time entry for 2019 looks an ever-increasing possibility.

"We're seriously considering IndyCar," Brown said. We've been doing due diligence for quite some time.

"As stated before, if we're going to get into other forms of motorsport which McLaren has a great history in we need to do it in a way that first and foremost doesn't compromise our Formula 1 activities or we won't consider it.

"It needs to be commercially viable, something we feel we can be competitive in and fits our brand. It has to tick all of those boxes, not most of those boxes. We're not done yet with our due diligence but it's looking favourable so we will take a decision in order to be prepared for 2019 sometime in the upcoming months.

"If we're confident all four of those elements really tick those boxes then it's something that we will probably move forward on but we're not done with the journey yet."

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Comments (2)

  • Nigel Rose
    IndyCar me thinks

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