A lot of extra eyes were on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday for the 101st running of the Indy 500, mainly because of one man.
Two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso decided to ditch Monaco for a new IndyCar-shaped challenge at the iconic oval race.
He did a fantastic job throughout the 200-lap race, starting fifth, featuring at the front for most of it and even leading 27 laps.
With around 20 laps to go, he was running within the top seven and looked to be bouncing back from being shuffled down the order in the pitstops.
But then, something incredibly ironic happened. His Honda engine failed. After so much trouble in F1, Honda’s unreliability followed him to IndyCar. And it was a huge shame.
Former Super Aguri F1 star Takuma Sato ended up winning the race, for the first time in his career.
It may not have gone to plan, but Alonso has said he’s hungry to return to the Indy 500 in the future (good news for us) and continue to chase down the ‘Triple Crown’.
When asked if he’s eager to come back, he replied:
“Definitely, yes. Obviously, if I come back here, at least I know how everything is. It will not be the first time I do restarts, pitstops, all these kinds of things.
“So, it 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.”
He was obviously downbeat about the result but had a good time:
“I’m obviously disappointed not to finish the race because every race you compete, you want to be at the chequered flag. Today it was not possible. It was a great experience, the last two weeks. I came here 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, leading the Indy 500.”
We definitely can’t wait for Alonso to be back at the Indy 500 and in an IndyCar, hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.