Motorsport

Brickyard debut whets Alonso's appetite for more

2017-05-29 06:45
Fernando Alonso (Gallo Images)

Indianapolis - Fernando Alonso's Indianapolis 500 dream went up in the smoke of a blown engine on Sunday that ended a brilliant Brickyard debut by the Formula One star.

So brilliant, in fact, he just might come back to try again.

"Definitely yes," Alonso told reporters when asked if the premature end to his day, in a race won by Japan's Takuma Sato, left him hungry to return.

"Obviously if I come back here, at least I know how everything is.

"It will not be the first time I do restarts, pit stops, all these kind of things. So will be an easier, let's say, adaptation. Let's see what happens in the following years.

"I need to keep pursuing this challenge because winning the Indy 500 is not completed."

Alonso opted to take on Indy - and perhaps gain the second leg of a rare motorsports trilogy of the Monaco Grand Prix, Indy 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans - rather than contest Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix with his underperforming McLaren team.

The decision rankled some in Formula One, but Alonso a two-time winner at Monaco, had no regrets.

"It's true that before coming here some of the questions were how you can trade Monaco race for Indy 500 ... I won two times there, I won two world championships. To drive around Monaco for a sixth place, seventh place, even a fifth place ... I didn't miss Monaco in terms of result, you know."

And despite the steep learning curve, and the added demands of US media that his trans-Atlantic tilt involved, Alonso said he enjoyed the race and the weeks of preparation that led up to it.

"Obviously every race you compete, you want to be at the checkered flag," he said. "Today was not possible. Anyway, was a great experience, the last two weeks. I came here basically to prove myself, to challenge myself.

"I know that I can be as quick as anyone in an F1 car. I didn't know if I can be as quick as anyone in an IndyCar. It was nice to have this competitive feeling, even leading the Indy 500, you know. One lap you put on the lead there, it was already a nice feeling."

When he hit the front of the field for the first time, Alonso said, he got a thrill seeing his number 29 flash atop the circuit's distinctive pagoda tower.

"I was thinking at that moment if Zak (Brown) or someone from the team was taking a picture, because I want that picture at home," said Alonso, who led for a total of 27 laps.

McLaren executive director Brown lauded Alonso's willingness to branch out.

"He put himself out there and exposed himself, delivered the goods, which isn't a surprise to anyone that has watched Fernando race," Brown said. "So I was pleased, very pleased, that competing at the Indy 500 was his dream, it's been part of McLaren's history."

Read more on:    indy 500  |  fernando alonso  |  motorsport
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Hypothetically, given the same cars to drive, who is the most talented current Formula One driver in your opinion?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.