McLaren Honda Andretti driver Fernando Alonso started today’s 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil from fifth place on the grid and fought at the front all day until he was forced to retire from the race with an engine failure with just 21 laps remaining in the race.
Speaking following the race, Alonso commented by saying:
Obviously it’s disappointing not to finish the race because every race you compete, you want to be at the chequered flag. But today that was not possible.
“The last two weeks have been a great experience. I came here basically to prove myself and 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. I was passing, watching the tower, and saw the 29 on top of it. I was thinking at that moment if Zak or someone from the team was taking a picture, because I want that picture at home!
“Thanks to IndyCar, thanks to Indianapolis, and thanks to the fans. I felt at home. I’m not American, but I felt really proud to race here.
“Finally, congratulations to Sato San and to Andretti. We have been sharing the last two weeks and Takuma was a lot of help, in coming from F1. I’m extremely happy for the final result.