Alonso Crashes at Indy - Difficult Start for McLaren

Alonso Indy 500 Crash 2019.jpg

Indy 500 preparations for McLaren have been far from smooth so far, but McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran says the team must remain calm in their bid for a record victory.


Pretty much every motorsport fan knows about the hugely impressive Indianapolis 500 debut of Fernando Alonso back in 2017, and most are probably aware that the popular Spaniard is back again for another go this season with his brand new McLaren IndyCar team - but things have been far from smooth for team and driver during the opening three days of practice for the big race.

Going back to Indy was always on the cards for a driver looking to secure the coveted 'triple crown' of Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans 24 Hour and Indy 500 race victories, and this year Alonso will be talking the 'Greatest Spectacle in Racing' with the newly formed McLaren Racing IndyCar squad, upping the pressure, and the difficulty, in their joint bid to win the biggest motor race in the American calendar.

McLaren Indy 500.jpg


Unlike the relatively smooth sailing of 2017, this year things haven't quite gone to plan for the driver - with day one mechanical issues side-lining the bright orange car for much of the running, then Alonso himself causing some headaches back in the garage following a sizeable accident during the second day of on track running when he suffered a considerable impact into the outside wall following a loss of downforce when running behind another car.

The result of that accident would see McLaren having to lose another day while preparing the spare car, robbing team and driver of much needed track time ahead of the big race later this month.

Despite the troubles encountered so far in their race preparations, former IndyCar star and now McLaren sporting director, Gil de Ferran feels his team must remain calm and focussed if they are to make up for lost track time. Speaking to IndyCar.com the Brazilian said:

“We’ve been dealt a hand. These are the circumstances we have to deal with, and we have to deal with them in a calm and determined manner. That’s the whole thing. It happened. We have a great group of guys who are working super hard. We’ll see what happens. We’ve got to put one foot in front of the other.”

“There’s no denying that the last two days have put a dent in our preparations – not only car preparation, but the setup development. It’s no secret to anyone that at Indy it’s important to have a slow, steady evolution of the setup of the car. When events like this happen, you put a wave in that steady evolution.”
Alonso and McLaren would spend much of the day at the track firmly enclosed within the team garage as the squad look to make ready the spare Dallara chassis following the crash on Wednesday, with the team retaining the original car as a back-up machine should further issues be encountered by the former double F1 World Champion prior to race day on May 26th.

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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.
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farjam

500RPM
Jun 4, 2017
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And by the timesheet (right now) he is bumped, while his overall pace was so slow he also had a little puncture too, so his 2nd , 3rd and 4th laps dropped heavily,waiting for his next run to improve...
 

walken

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Nov 10, 2008
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Hope to see JP Montoya next year on a Toyota hybrid running at LeMans. .....
 

SAGY31

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Jun 4, 2017
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Alonso tried to win Daytona 24h with Zak Brown's United Autosports, this year he joined Wayne Taylor racing and won. He'll have time to think things over and probably ditch McLaren and join some well established Indycar team for next years Indy 500. McLaren have already done enough to waste Fernando a couple of racing years, he should just drop it and move on.
 

SAGY31

50RPM
Jun 4, 2017
58
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Hope to see JP Montoya next year on a Toyota hybrid running at LeMans. .....
Yeah, Montoya could quite easily get Triple Crown before Alonso, but he's so apolitical and would much rather compete in a class with tougher competition.
 

T04STY

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Feb 20, 2014
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Alonso tried to win Daytona 24h with Zak Brown's United Autosports
To be honest, that never was a serious attmept to win it. Starting in an P2 in the beginning of 2018 you knew you aren't in for a win, they were so much slower compared to the DPI's. That just was his first go in multiclass, getting experience etc.
 

Nico

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May 4, 2017
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I guess things are not so easy when Indy, unlike some multi-class series I won't name, are not willing to move the mountains out of the way (while screwing tons of other people in the process) so you can win in a breeze just because you're an old F1 champion with hunger of success and a rather poor reputation outside of the racetracks.
 
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ChevyGuy566

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Aug 9, 2013
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Alonso tried to win Daytona 24h with Zak Brown's United Autosports, this year he joined Wayne Taylor racing and won. He'll have time to think things over and probably ditch McLaren and join some well established Indycar team for next years Indy 500. McLaren have already done enough to waste Fernando a couple of racing years, he should just drop it and move on.
100% spot on. Fernando has seen first hand multiple times that you pretty much need to be in the best car to win races these days. Did he and McLaren really think it would be that easy? He should have gone with a top Chevy team every year until he wins it. Then maybe he can try to win it again with a McLaren team he helped build.
 

Bjay_23

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Jun 13, 2017
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I don`t know what he was thinking when he decided to drive for McLaren, unless its a long term project. (Which also wouldnt make that much sense with an event only taking place once a year).
You can`t just turn up to the Indy 500 and challenge for the win with an inexperienced team and him also not being an Indy veteran knowing perfectly how to set a car up there. He is such a great driver but his team choices are very questionable.
 
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Vic Flange

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Jan 12, 2018
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Failed to qualify. Arrogance can bite you on the arse. Did they really expect to waltz up at possibly this most specialised of tracks and win ?
If he wants to win this thing he needs to commit to a couple of full seasons in a top team.
 
Nov 3, 2015
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Failed to qualify. Arrogance can bite you on the arse. Did they really expect to waltz up at possibly this most specialised of tracks and win ?
I suspect neither he nor the team expected to win, I suspect all his fans expected him to win with three wheels and half the engine blown, in the wet. Not qualifying is a bit of a problem because noone gets experience now.
 

MoerasGrizzly

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Dec 29, 2014
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Failed to qualify. Arrogance can bite you on the arse. Did they really expect to waltz up at possibly this most specialised of tracks and win ?
If he wants to win this thing he needs to commit to a couple of full seasons in a top team.
tbf he was leading the race as a rookie the last time he was there.
 

NikiGouda

75RPM
Mar 10, 2018
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This "arrogance" BS i can't hear anymore. If he takes a ride with a proven
top team (like Andretti 2017) people say he makes it nice and easy for
himself for winning Indy by implying that everyone can win in such a car.
If he chooses to try to win this race with "his" team McLaren, going the
hard way together with them by building and testing a completely new car,
with a "new" staff, suddenly this is called arrogance for some reason.
At least for me that deserves a lot of respect for sure.
Yes they failed this time and to be honest, it wasn't that of a surprise but can
anyone tell me what this all has to do with "arrogance"?
 
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