Fernando Alonso’s month of May could turn out to be a leisurely thirty days following a report alleging that Honda has vetoed Andretti Autosport’s request to run the Spaniard in the Indy 500.
In his quest for motorsport’s Triple Crown, Alonso is hoping to return to the Brickyard this spring for a third shot at the blue riband event.
The two-time F1 world champion, Monaco Grand Prix winner and Le Mans victor might still get an opportunity to put himself among Indy’s 33 drivers, but it won’t be with Andretti or with any other front-running team.
According to a report from RACER, Michael Andretti had lined up an array of sponsors to support a sixth Andretti Autosport entry, with Alonso on-board.
But the deal has apparently stumbled at the last hurdle, with RACER contending that Honda Performance Development in the US failed to get “final clearance” from the Japanese manufacturer’s Tokyo headquarters.
Honda’s top brass has obviously not forgotten Alonso’s incessant criticism of its engines during its ill-fated three years with McLaren from 2015 to 2017.
It was a dismal period for the McLaren and Honda, marked by the dismal performance and reliability of its power unit which Alonso famously labeled “GP2 engine” at Honda’s home race at Suzuka in 2015.
Five years on, the disparaging brutality of the Spaniard’s radio quip still resonates through Honda’s corridors.
Honda’s rejection means Alonso will need to rely on a Chevy engine at Indianapolis, a prerequisite that leaves few team options for the 38-year-old.
Alonso formally parted ways with McLaren recently, relinquishing his role as a brand ambassador for the team. So, grabbing a third seat with Arrow McLaren SP for Indy seems unlikely, especially after last year’s comedy of errors by McLaren at the Brickyard.
Of the remaining Chevy outfit’s entered at Indy, only A.J Foyt Racing, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, DragonSpeed and Juncos Racing have seats available.
But will Alonso accept a downgrade to a second tier or minnow outfit offering him only a very remote chance of success? We wouldn’t bet on it…