Clutch problem curtailed Alonso's Indy 500 assault
Fernando Alonso's has revealed a clutch problem ended his faint hopes of taking victory in the Indy 500 and claiming the 'Triple Crown'.
Alonso and the Indy 500 have a difficult relationship. In 2017, he retired while fighting for the lead as his Honda engine expired, in 2019, he failed to qualify for the races and this time around there was a crash, a difficult qualifying and problems in the race.
Following the race, Alonso said: "We didn’t have one lap of kindness, let’s say.
"We were struggling from the very beginning with the balance of the car, with a lot oversteer. We kept changing that balance in the pit stops, reducing the front flap, doing tyre adjustments and then we started to be happy with the car.
"We were up to P15 around lap 110, which is where we wanted to be. We spent half the race going from P26 to P15, and then we had a clutch problem on the car that we didn’t know how to solve.
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"We finished the race without the clutch, so from that point on every pit stop we had to push the car, engage the gear and go. That cost us a lap and unfortunately, we kept that lap down until the end and we could not achieve anything more."
Although pleased to have completed the 500 mile distance for the first time, Alonso commented: "The negative is that we were out of contention very quickly with the clutch problem.
"Anyway, I think the Arrow McLaren SP team was fantastic during the race, the strategy and pit stops meant we were always gaining positions.
"I’m very proud of the work we’ve done over the last couple of weeks. We tried to race, but luck was not with us today, but I’m proud of the effort from everyone in the team."
Alonso has not made clear whether he will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the future, but it is known he will miss at least the next two runnings due to the Spaniard making his Formula 1 return with Renault.
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