Ron wouldn’t have allowed Indy 500; Is Button logical choice for Monaco?

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Fernando Alonso has been a busy bee this week fielding questions about McLaren’s announcement that he would be participating in this year’s Indy 500 and missing the Monaco Grand Prix. The Spaniard has set his eyes on competing the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indy 500 and would like to win both races to add to his Formula 1 championship. That hasn’t been done since Graham Hill and these days, the thought of an F1 driver being allowed to drive in other series is almost unheard of.

Last year’s Le Mans participation by Nico Hulkenberg was a rare occasion and this year’s Indy 500 will have a current F1 driver on the grid. Alonso doesn’t think former McLaren CEO, Ron Dennis, would have every allowed him to race in another series but the team’s new man, Zak Brown, is another breed of cat.

“Zak is a man that has a bigger vision than other team principals or bosses that I had.

“He sees motorsport differently, he sees McLaren bigger and no longer concentrated on F1.

“He is a true racer, so it is great that McLaren had Zak come on board last year.”

The idea of which series to race in was split in the McLaren camp and it does go to show that these plans have been simmering for a while now. Should Alonso do the 24 hour of Le Mans or Indy?

“Because Zak is American he was pushing for the Indy 500, and Eric [Boullier] French pushing for Le Mans,” said Alonso.

“The McLaren-Honda partnership, to be able run this in Indy 500, was very attractive this year.

“Le Mans is something I will do, probably as soon as I can.

“I don’t know if it will be next year or in the following years.

“The first priority is F1.

“If I can race together with F1 and other series as I am doing this year it will be OK. If not I will only do F1.”

The big question now is, who will replace Alonso at the Monaco Grand Prix? The logical choice would be McLAren reserve driver, Jenson Button, but that’s not been announced yet and being that Zak is a marketing genius and showman, he may try for something unique and outside the box. However, there are some ont eh grid who would like to see the 2009 champ return for Monaco.

“I hope Jenson comes back, it would be great for the sport to have Jenson back,” said Lewis Hamilton, who raced alongside Button at McLaren from 2010-12.
“I still think he is one of the best drivers, his calibre is very high, and he is experienced.”

Hat Tip: Autosport

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J. Doug Patterson
Editor

Indianapolis or LeMan… Is it too much to ask for both? Well, ok, it probably is in a single year, but I look forward to Alonso competing in the world’s iconic races and not locked into a singular series. This is what made drivers like Graham Hill, Mario Andretti, and Mark Donohue so amazing. They were multi-disciplinary drivers. Sports cars, Formula 1, IndyCar, it didn’t matter. Give them a motor and four wheels, and they’d race it. In this modern era of specialization, we’ve lost some of this. Its all too rare that drivers get the opportunity to branch out… Read more »

AT555
Guest
AT555

monaco being their best chance to score any points. What is its raining in monaco and button somehow score a podium and alonso crashes in indy!! I’ll feel terribly bad for alonso! another wrong move at wrong time

AT555
Guest
AT555

monaco being their best chance to score any points. What if its raining in monaco and button somehow score a podium and alonso crashes in indy!! I’ll feel terribly bad for alonso! another wrong move at wrong time. Though highly unlikely for mclaren to score a podium but given they are good in corners and button excels in rain you never know.

MIE
Editor

There aren’t that many drivers with the necessary super license to be able to take Alonso’s seat. It would be nice if Alex Rossi could swap with Alonso, but I think he would prefer to try for a second win at Indianapolis rather than run in an uncompetitive McLaren at Monaco.

Peter Riva
Guest
Peter Riva

Besides the talk of Monaco… part of this may be expanding McLarens’ world, especially NOT loosing Alonso for the year ahead. Le Mans? Why else would they mention the triple crown? Is McLaren turning to other sports over F1?
Monaco is not their best chance of winning, remember tyht every time Alonso complains about the car it is after a corner – the get up and go just isn’t there. The top speed is an issue (in Monaco’s favor) but the umph (acceleration/torque) of the engine just is not there.

Peter Riva
Guest
Peter Riva

And then Alonso confirms this: ““If I can race together with F1 and other series as I am doing this year it will be OK. If not I will only do F1.” Yeah, F1 but perhaps without McLaren.

Member

It’s just speculation, but maybe this could lead to Mclaren-Honda seeking entry into the WEC and partnership with an existing IndyCar team. It might be enough to entice Fernando to stay with the F1 team, especially if he could be the third driver in Le Mans alongside Button and a successful Mclaren GT3/GTE driver and be able to take more cracks at the Indy 500.

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

‘Ron wouldn’t have allowed Indy’ no and he wouldn’t allow another team to use Honda engines either, which is why there’s no one for this hapless team to compete with this year. I’d say at this point if Ron wouldn’t do it then do it, you’ll be right most of the time with that one simple rule.