The two-time Formula 1 world champion’s decision to skip the Monaco Grand Prix this year to drive the Indianapolis 500 came as a shock to many.
But, Alonso’s revealed he has been pondering a potential IndyCar outing for quite a few years now and is excited to be in a “new world” and learning again.
The Spaniard wrote a fascinatingly open piece for The Players’ Tribune about his Indy 500 decision, going through some of the major moments from his career so far.
Alonso just wants to race and is keen to learn new things, so perhaps – which his McLaren MCL32 not being very competitive at all – we shouldn’t really be all that surprised by his Indy 500 deal.
McLaren and Honda have teamed up with Andretti for the Indy 500 with Alonso and he really can’t wait for the race. He said:
“I have been thinking about Indy for four or five years now. I had seen a few races, but didn’t know too much about the series. I knew some of the names, and the teams, but basically it’s all new information for me. So, I am back to doing what I love again, learning.
“It’s hard to miss the Monaco Grand Prix, but the tradition at Indy is tremendous as well. I keep hearing about it from everyone I speak with. I can’t wait for the prerace ceremonies and the atmosphere. Here I am, a veteran driver, but it’s all brand new to me. I’m very thankful to experience it.”
Alonso joked that his fellow F1 drivers hadn’t been that helpful, but he added everyone’s been supportive and stressed the importance of someone going outside of F1 and doing something new:
“The only people who aren’t so helpful are the other Formula 1 drivers, because they’re all jealous. Hahaha. I joke, I joke (not really). They’re all very supportive of me and keep wishing me good luck. We’re a tight group in the F1 paddock. It means a lot when one of us does well in another series. When Nico Hulkenberg won at Le Mans in the FIA WEC in 2015, it was a big deal for us.”
If you’re wanting to know more about Alonso’s Indy 500 decision and his eagerness to simply race, definitely check out the full piece. This article has only just scratched the surface.