Since the news first broke, this story seemed to be a fairly harmless, good news story for motor sport. Fernando Alonso, double Formula World Champion, heading to the states to take part in one of the most prestigious events in racing. It is bound to generate a tremendous buzz for IndyCar fans while also increasing awareness of the event throughout the world.
It will be a chance for Indycar drivers to match their skills against the man touted as the best racing driver in the world. Some of the top drivers in Indycar deserve a lot more recognition for they have achieved. The depth of the field lets the series down a little, and they suffer some negativity from certain fans.
Fernando Alonso is ready to make real history.
Formula 1 is still the pinnacle however, and nobody knows it more than Fernando Alonso. The fact a third World Title continues to elude him hurts. Should he finish his career with only two Championships, he will consider that a failure.
Becoming the greatest driver of all time is something he has spoken a lot about recently. Winning a record 8 World Championships is now out of reach. His latest ambition is to achieve that title by an alternative route.
There is no doubt about it, Alonso wants to win the Indy 500. Not because he loves the event, or because he wants his name on the trophy. But because it is one more box ticked on his path to history. It almost seems like he is taking the win for granted. The fact he has stated his intentions so openly highlights his confidence.
I don’t think he lacks respect for the drivers he will be facing at Indy, but I do think he feels like he deserves to win. The quicker he can achieve that feat, the quicker he can turn his attention to the final jewel in the crown. The 24-hour race at Le Mans. Formula 1 has dropped a fair way down his priorities for the time being.
Whatever McLaren might think, they have got no control over their driver. Fernando has done exactly what he wanted to do, and I don’t see this having any bearing on his future at McLaren. If he wants to leave, he will leave and to be honest, the experience he’s about to have at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will probably make him even more likely to leave the team.