Indy 500 drive improved Alonso’s headspace

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Fernando Alonso and Michael Andretti watch the start of the final warmup for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama -- Photo by: Joe Skibinski, INDYCAR

As we discussed on our recent podcast, the buzz around Fernando Alonso’s Indy 500 attempt has been terrific. It has brought a lot of focus to Andretti Autosport, McLaren and Indianapolis Motor Speedway as well as Indycar.

What is has also done is provide a competitive racing experience for one of the world’s best drivers who has been mired in technical/mechanical failures for the past 2-3 seasons in Formula 1. It’s a shame we don’t get to see Alonso apply his skills in a competitive car and take the fight at the front of the grid so the Indy 500 is a chance to see how well he can do in relatively equal or competitive machinery.

It’s has also been a boost for Alonso according to his boss, Zak Brown.

“A lot of driving is mental, and this has put him in such a great frame of mind that I think is very healthy,” Brown told Autosport when asked about the impact on Alonso’s performance in F1.

“He feels good that he’s racing, he’s competitive, he’s getting a lot of attention.

“He’s not an attention seeker, but it’s got to be fun knowing the world’s watching you race.

“We all work best in a good frame of mind, whatever that job is.

“This has just got him in a really good place after two years of not being in a good place, as we haven’t.

“It’s had the same effect on the team and partners. It’s just a breath of fresh air.”

A lot of any sport in mental and it’s no less in F1 or any form of motorsport. Alonso needs to have some upside with all the downside he’s been forced to swallow of late and perhaps the greatest achievement for McLaren is rejuvenating their star driver.

Alonso’s contract is up at McLaren at the end of this season and if they want to keep Fernando, having him in the right headspace is important. Bringing opportunities outside F1 is also critical as Alonso said early last year that he wanted to win the Indy 500 and Le Mans so if McLaren can prove to be a catalyst for that, he may well stay.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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jakobusvdl
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jakobusvdl

That’s great, it’s also helping to improve the headspace of fans who want to see McLaren Honda have some success. I hope that Zak has similar ‘make a wish’ plans in place for the other 800 McLaren F1 employees, and the F1 power unit team at Honda. They could all do with some positive motivational experiences.

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“You get a P1 program! And you get a P1 program! McLaren-Hondas for every series!” :-)

Peter Riva
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Peter Riva

Is McLaren going to enter Le Mans racing? If so, Alonso’s their best bet.

jcn115
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jcn115

If I’m not mistaken Sebastian Bourdais was supposed to race in LeMans, now that he is sidelined due to the crash, Alonso could take his seat.

Dave Domenicano
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Dave Domenicano

Oh that’s right!! I hadn’t thought of that!! That would be awesome!! Also, Brown once said Le Mans would be a great marketing tool to promote McLaren and sell more cars. He even said it would definitely be orange.