INDIANAPOLIS — Fernando Alonso’s main goal to accomplish here in the United States is simple – win the Indianapolis 500. It’s no secret. He’s accomplished everything else he’s set out to do. Alonso, 38, is a two-time Formula One World Champion. He’s won the Monaco Grand Prix twice. He’s won the 24 Hours of Daytona as well as LeMans. The only thing missing is Indy.
“There are no other goals at this point of my career,” Alonso said on Wednesday. “I don’t need really to do this kind of challenges. I’ve been in Formula 1 18 years. I have achieved more things than I ever imagined, than I ever dreamed in my career, and if I am doing now this big, big races, the 24-Hour Le Mans, Daytona, Dakar, the Indy 500, it’s only with the aim of winning.
“Winning is the main aim. Obviously I want to be competitive, as well, and have a nice feeling, but these kind of races, sometimes they chew at you more than being super competitive.
Winning a one-off Indy only entry is difficult though. Dan Wheldon was the last driver to show up to Indy without racing any other Indy Car races during that season and to win. So, would Alonso be open to running more, including the GMR IndyCar Grand Prix two weeks prior?
“There are possibilities,” he admitted. “You know, I think it’s not up to me 100 percent. As I said before, I think more tests, more simulator, more races, whatever I do before the Indy 500, it can be only beneficial to my preparation because I would like to be a little bit more active from now to the Indy 500.
“But there are other things that may compromise the Indy 500 car or the setup or the building of everything, so I don’t want to make any problem to that preparation. There are things that we will talk to the team, and as I said before, they have much more experience than me, with Sam, with Zach, with Gil. We will figure out what is the best preparation, and as I said before, I’m open to do more things than in the past.”
What about other races after Indy? Alonso, admitted that there’s been discussions with both McLaren as well as Andretti too.
“Yeah, I’ve thought about that, and that was part of the conversations that I had with both teams, what they were thinking about that and what are their thoughts and experience, and it’s still something — an open point that we need to develop a little bit more. Formula 1 thinks that maybe later in the year it can be a possibility to experience a normal IndyCar race just to see how it feels and to add some more experience. I have the thought that maybe that would be before the Indy 500 because maybe it gives me a little bit of preparation. You see I’m not doing F1 or I’m not doing endurance championship, so my next race is going to be the Dakar Rally, which is a completely opposite style, so maybe one race before or some extra prep will be a help also for me, even if it’s not proper oval racing.
“There are things that are under negotiations, and that was also something that took a role in the final decision, as well, between the teams.”