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Featured Indy 500: Pagenaud on Pole, Alonso Out in Dramatic Qualifying

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, May 20, 2019.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    Indy 500 Alonso.jpg
    Fernando Alonso and McLaren fail to qualify for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 as Simon Pagenaud romps to a debut Pole Position.


    With the media circus whipped into a frenzy around famous guest Fernando Alonso in his bid to secure the Motorsport ‘triple crown’ this May, it would be Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud who took the biggest bow at the brickyard, the former IndyCar champion securing his debut Indy 500 Pole, and with it becoming the first Frenchman to start from the front of the grid in over 100 years.

    Much has been made of the return to the Brickyard for McLaren and Alonso this year, however a litany of errors and mechanical issues would blight the British team on the run up to qualification weekend, leaving both team and driver under no illusions as to the size of the task that awaited them to qualify for ‘the greatest spectacle in racing’ held at the end of the month.

    Indy 500: Alonso Practice Woes HERE.

    Taking to the circuit in a hastily prepared backup machine following Alonso’s big shunt earlier in the week, the papaya orange Dallara never looked like troubling the top runners throughout the weekend, down on speed and losing an alarming amount of lap time during the all important four lap runs, Alonso would be unable to do anything to salvage a result for the rookie squad during their popular return to the category.

    Failing to lock into the top 30 on Saturday, all hopes of making the big show would rest on a Bump Day performance for the final three places on Sunday afternoon - something the team just failed to achieve after dropping outside the top 33 thanks to a dying moments effort from the smallest and arguably least funded outfit in the field - Juncos Racing and 23-year-old rookie Kyle Kaiser.

    At the front of the grid the action would remain tense during the ‘Fast Nine’ qualification runs, with Penske driver Pagenaud putting together a near perfect performance to secure the pole ahead of Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot.

    With the grid now set, minus Alonso, the race day preparations begin ahead of the big day this Sunday May 25th.

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    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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  2. callumjtc

    callumjtc

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    Mclaren even offered to buy Alonso a seat off someone who had qualified to spare Alonso the embarassment of failing to qualify, Mclaren really cocked this one up bigtime. Alonso obviously didn't accept that and he'll be back next year with hopefully a much better prepared Mclaren partnering with Penske, or at least a team more competent at Indy than Carlin
     
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  3. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte
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    Well that went Mcflippin bad....

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    Can't quite decide if this is bad luck, bad planning, or a little of both. Perhaps McLaren was just a little too cocky at their prospects of strolling into a "spec series" and competing.
     
  5. samprince053

    samprince053
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    False. Please dont spread false information. They said they would not buy a seat and their way into the indy 500 and want to earn it.

    Zak Brown said this - "We'll come back fighting. We don't want to buy in. We want to earn it. Anyone can buy in. We want to get in on merit."
     
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  6. John Addison

    John Addison
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    Never a fan of McLaren....have long been a fan of Alonso's but frankly its about time they both got slapped.
     
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  7. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo
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    It's true they wanted to buy a seat https://apnews.com/d467f0f538bc421c...ts&utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=SocialFlow


    The whole thing was just a mess... https://apnews.com/a8653967a9714ac7a9a3ba576f712fff
     
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  8. samprince053

    samprince053
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    If you read the article you sent youd see that the headline is partially clickbait as it states "McLaren CEO Zak Brown told The Associated Press the team would not buy its way into the 500 and was halting this year’s effort. Bob Fernley, president of the IndyCar operation, was fired Sunday night after McLaren missed the race." Any information around mclaren buying a seat is just speculation and the only official information has been them confirming that they are not buying a seat. The article states "The team then made a few inquiries into buying out another driver" with no sources of this information or how valid it is, therefore its pretty likely this is not true and there was no serious attempt made and this information is just rumours. The only valid info regarding this is when Brown said "Alonso initially supported McLaren running a car for him if it was the right business decision to satisfy sponsor obligations." but didnt say anything about actually attempting anything.

    The author of that article later tweeted this:
    https://twitter.com/JennaFryer/status/1130230270790176769

    I have just found out she later tweeted this:
    https://twitter.com/jennafryer/status/1130453659609968644?s=21
    It seems like everyone is confused by her lack of journalistic skills tweeting stuff back to back contradicting each tweet prior. So it seems all the rumours and fake news stemmed from her bad journalism.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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  9. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo
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    "Brown said Alonso initially supported McLaren running a car for him if it was the right business decision to satisfy sponsor obligations. But once the Spaniard learned he’d be replacing another driver and competing for another team, he was not comfortable with that route"
    It's very clear someone in the team tried that, maybe not Zak, but someone actually tried. Probably Zak is only saying that because Alonso refused.

    "McLaren had zeroed in on Oriol Servia’s seat with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports because McLaren already has a partnership with Arrow."
     
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  10. samprince053

    samprince053
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    Yeah the whole situation is pretty confusing because of what i mentioned at the bottom of my last post, issue is there is no source on mclaren and oriol's seat. It could well be that Zak is just saying that to try to avoid making mclaren look bad like you mentioned. What a strange situation.
     
  11. samprince053

    samprince053
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    Also just seen this articles, pretty hilarious
    https://apnews.com/a8653967a9714ac7a9a3ba576f712fff

    Heres a couple of my favourite quotes:

    “We didn’t get out until midday, our steering wheel was not done on time, that’s just lack of preparation and project management organizational skills,” Brown said. “That’s where this whole thing fell down, in the project management. Zak Brown should not be digging around for steering wheels.”

    "His first qualifying run was sabotaged by a tire puncture — which wasn’t detected beforehand because Brown said the team had purchased incorrect tire sensors."

    ''...but in the frantic changeover a mistake was made in converting inches to the metric system the English team uses and the car scraped and sparked on his first lap."

    "Alonso was knocked from the field by 23-year-old Kyle Kaiser of tiny Juncos Racing. McLaren discovered after the qualifying run that the car had the wrong gear ratio setup."

    “We actually had a 229 (mph) car but we had 227.5 gearing, so we beat ourselves again while we almost made it,”

    Im a McLaren fan but i laughed pretty hard at that tbh lmao
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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  12. paracletus

    paracletus

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    Close but failed to make the cut.
    Can't watch ovalling :sleep:, but terrible result for Alonso and indeed the great McLaren team.
     
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  13. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    Geez, what an embarrassing comedy of errors. Every situation is different, so you probably want to exercise some caution in extrapolating this out to be a reflection on how the F1 team operates...but it does make you wonder.

    Like if Mercedes decided to field a team (don't ask me if they'd use Honda or Chevy, this is a hypothetical!) - wouldn't you be shocked to learn they hadn't crossed every t and dotted every umlaut? But you hear these stories about McLaren running around like the keystone cops and you think "yeah, I could see that". I am neither a McLaren lover or hater, but it's pretty sad.
     
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  14. Mike Kadlcak

    Mike Kadlcak

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  15. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo
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    Like I said someone in the team went for it and they only said they wouldn't do because Alonso refused. :)
     
  16. PegaMixel

    PegaMixel

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    Not to dig too deep into this, but you realize that this is a press conference, right? There is not a single reason to believe anything that is said as a public statement in a press conference. Especially if it's something that would set Mclaren and their entry in the crosshairs of all kind of sh*tstorm. So ofcourse they'd deny this.

    Even if the rumors are true and they tried to buy Fernando into the 500, it's a done deal now. So who really cares anymore. Try again next year.

    For me personally, i think it's great that they "hit the wall" with their effort. After giving Alonso the Le Mans victory basically for free it's about time they face real competition and its consequences again.

    Wanna get the triple crown? Earn it.
     
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  17. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo
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    This!
    Hope he can go back at Le Mans and win it in a real challenge.
     
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  18. NikiGouda

    NikiGouda

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    But that's exactly what they did, going the hard way instead the easy one
    by trying to compete with an own car and own staff so it seems a bit
    unlogical to " think it's great that they hit the wall with their effort".
    That McLaren and Alonso are trying that at all is NOT usual in modern
    times at Indy, not for a legendary F1 team or/and driver at least.
    To hope that they fail is something i cannot really understand, and
    i'm a HUGE Indycar fan myself. One should support such attemps of
    famous teams/drivers from outside of Indycars and pay respect to them,
    especially if they fail at first time.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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