McLaren have announced that their lead driver, Fernando Alonso, will miss the Monaco Grand Prix and will instead be competing in the Indy 500.
No matter how you look at it, it’s an interesting development. Looking at McLaren’s decision to allow Alonso to miss the most glamorous race on the Formula 1 calendar, it’s certainly a strange one. You almost wonder if them allowing him to pursue other passions is their attempt at making up for the disappointing performance of the cars he’s driven since returning to the team in 2015.
Looking at Alonso’s side of the decision, it seems a lot more logical. Yes, the Monaco GP is a huge race but he’s won it twice already and has confirmed he has a much bigger prize in his sights – the Triple Crown. For anyone that doesn’t know, motorsport’s Triple Crown is victory at the Monaco Grand Prix, the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Indy 500.
“It’s one of my ambitions to win the Triple Crown, which has been achieved by only one driver in the history of motorsport: Graham Hill. It’s a tough challenge, but I’m up for it. I don’t know when I’m going to race at Le Mans, but one day I intend to. I’m only 35: I’ve got plenty of time for that.”
As Alonso says, only one person has ever completed the Triple Crown and that is out of 17 drivers who have attempted it. Bruce McLaren himself came close, only an Indy 500 win away from claiming the Triple Crown. It really is a massive feat.
“I’ve never raced an IndyCar car before, and neither have I ever driven on a super-speedway, but I’m confident that I’ll get to grips with it fast. I’ve watched a lot of IndyCar action on TV and online, and it’s clear that great precision is required to race in close proximity with other cars on the far side of 220mph.”
His car will be a Honda-powered McLaren, much like his F1 car, campaigned by Andretti Autosport. As it stands, it is not known who will be stepping into his vacant F1 seat for the Monaco GP.
Do you think the two-time F1 World Champion has what it takes to move one step closer to the Triple Crown? Do you agree with or understand his choice to skip the Monaco Grand Prix? Let us know in the comments section below or via our Facebook and Twitter pages.