The McLaren Formula One team announced on Saturday that they will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next year with Fernando Alonso to compete in the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 in May.
The Spaniard competed in the 101st Indianapolis 500 last year in partnership with Andretti Autosport and was running a strong fifth until he was forced to retire from the race.
Since then, Fernando Alonso has gone on to take victory in LeMans 24 Hours marking the second part of motorsport’s triple crown. Speaking about the announcement, McLaren CEO Zak Brown commented by saying:
We are relishing our return to the Brickyard and this incredible race. McLaren has a long and fond relationship with the Indianapolis 500 and it’s a case of unfinished business for us with Fernando. No Indy 500 is a cakewalk, it’s a massive challenge. We have the utmost respect for the race and our competitors. So, we are under no illusions. But McLaren are racers first and foremost, as is Fernando. We’re going for it.
Fernando Alonso who is preparing for his penultimate Grand Prix commented by saying:
I’ve made clear for some time my desire to achieve the Triple Crown. I had an incredible experience at Indianapolis in 2017 and I knew in my heart of hearts I had to go back if the opportunity was there. I’m especially glad to be returning with McLaren. This was always my first choice if the team decided to do it, so I’m delighted they’ve decided to go ahead. It’s a tough race and we’ll be up against the best, so it will be a huge challenge. But we’re racers and that’s why we race. One of the things I’m looking forward to most is seeing the fans again, who are absolutely fantastic.”