Fernando Alonso continues to search for a ride in the Indianapolis 500 but his options are closing fast with Ed Carpenter ruling out expanding his team to accommodate an extra driver or two.
On Monday February 3, Alonso was confident that he had a deal in place with Andretti Autosport to race in the 2020 Indy 500. Later that day however, a report from RACER revealed that Honda bosses, the Andretti team racing under Honda power, had refused to give the final green light to the deal.
The decision is believed to have been made based on the Spaniard's previous comments such as '"GP2 engine" when Honda powered his McLaren Formula One team between 2015 and 2017.
This left Alonso searching for a ride with Chevrolet power and, at this late stage with the race coming in May, time is running out.
Speaking to NBCSports.com, INDYCAR driver/team owner Ed Carpenter said,
“There is one person that has reached out to me about it, but it wasn’t Alonso or anybody that works for him.
"It’s been surprisingly quiet. I think it’s because they know we are not positioned to run more than three. We are a two-car team.
“If we doubled the size of our team for May, it wouldn’t be good for everybody.”
For 2019, McLaren and Alonso's second attempt to secure the Spaniard the triple crown, the team were prevented from running Honda power and, as such, had to run with a Chevrolet engine.
Once again, this was down to the blame culture that had grown during their difficult Formula One partnership.
In that failed second attempt, McLaren admitted that poor preparation was to blame for them not even qualifying for the race itself.
Carpenter added that he feels Alonso should have been more aware of this being a possibility.
"It had happened before,” said Carpenter. “The difference is Fernando is separated from McLaren. It was pretty surprising they got that far down the road before they realized it was going to become an issue with how public that dispute had become.”
In his first Indy 500 assault, Alonso consistently raced at the front of the field until his Honda engine let go. Two years later, and two years older, competing at the front of the race could be a lot more difficult.
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