I woke up at 7am this morning, turned my alarm off and grabbed my phone; such is my regular morning routine. As soon as my phone boots to life, I get a notification from a Mr.Google with the headline “Alonso to skip Monaco GP to contest this year’s Indy 500”.
Now, I know it’s not April fools, but holy shit did I pass it off as a joke.
Joke it was not.
For those of you who are reading this, who don’t know what I’m talking about, let me refresh: ALONSO IS RACING IN THIS YEAR’s INDY 500! For real, this is actually happening. Life must REALLY be shit at McLaren F1 for them to not even scoff at the idea. McLaren-Honda will field Alonso via Andretti Autosport and while that seems like a recipe for success (despite Andretti being a leading team in Indycar and Alonso being….well, Alonso), I highly doubt it will bear any juicy fruit (maybe a few sticks of gum).
If anything, it sets up McLaren in the future as going back to its roots and running cars in pretty much anything with a decent audience, global or otherwise. McLaren even said themselves, that a return to Le Mans is possibly on the cards as well. Let’s hope that they do that, because who doesn’t want to see orange cars on a regular basis?
What I seriously find interesting, is that McLaren are allowing Alonso to skip out on his obligations as an F1 driver on the most important race on F1’s calendar; the Monaco GP. Monaco would provide the best bet for McLaren to achieve any sort of success with the POS engine that Honda have been supplying them the last few seasons. Instead, they drop this bombshell and wait to see how the dust settles. It does (sort of) attempt to bring McLaren and Honda’s relationship back to a manageable level on the whole, but I just can’t believe it’s happening.
Time will tell how this eventually works out, and what it ultimately means for Alonso’s career. My best bet, is that this is Alonso’s last year in F1. Especially if Honda don’t make astronomical gains over the summer break. I’m certain somebody in WEC LMP1 or LMP-Privateer would pick him up on the interim, until McLaren returns to Le Mans (hopefully).
As for the other bit of notable news from the New York Autoshow: Audi unveils their new R8 GT4 race car.
While we knew this was happening as of last summer, I’m still disappointed in Audi’s choice of car for the platform. It would make sense for the GT4 car to be either the TTRS or the RS4 to compliment the RS3 TCR and R8 GT3 and RS5 DTM in their racing stables. I’m obviously not in the know on the reasoning behind the call, but Audi seems to think that the R8 has the most reach for this class. Nonetheless, if it is anything like the GT3, it would be one hell of car.
That’s it for today, I hope you enjoyed my first real post on my blog. If you liked it, hit the buttons below to let the world know you did!