McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso is out of contract at the end of this season. It is no secret that the double world champion has lost patience with the team and may be looking for other means to get back to winning ways. So former Formula One World Champion Mario Andretti has suggested that Alonso should consider a switch to IndyCAR for the 2018 season.
Alonso is currently in the United States to race in the Indy 500, while McLaren-Honda have roped in Jenson Button to replace him. Although Alonso’s future is hanging in the balance, he has declared that he is still hunting for his 3rd title. Now the Spaniard has said that he will take a call on his future after the summer break in August. But Alonso’s chances of finding a top tier seat remains very slim. But Andretti thinks that Alonso will not have such issues in IndyCAR. In an interview with ESPN, the American said “Let me say it this way. It’s my opinion, but I think at the end of the season if McLaren doesn’t provide, or look like they’re going to have something for him to look forward to the following year, I think his relationship might continue [in IndyCar]. I don’t know the contract. But let’s put it this way, if McLaren doesn’t produce in Formula One, I don’t see where else he would go [in F1]. He’s not going to go anywhere else with the top three teams… if he doesn’t go there, there’s a seat for him here, and a premier seat too.”
“He’s a racer. He could probably even come here for one year and win his share, because he’ll absolutely have the opportunity to do that, and then go back to Formula One. He’s still young – he could go back to Formula One and one of the top teams he wants to be with. That would be a scenario and fantastic for IndyCar, definitely.”
Alonso has been impressive in testing and even qualified 5th for the race. Andretti also added “Monaco would be a difficult one to give up for anyone — I know that, I’ve been in the middle of that one. Everyone that’s happened up to him now justifies him making this move. I’ve not been around a lot but I follow Formula One but I don’t think he has smiled at the racetrack as much as he’s smiled here for quite some time. That’s good to see, he’s relaxed, confident. You can’t do any better for any race driver than give them something that’s competitive. He’s starting second row here — that’s not for luck, he earned that, and I think he was a candidate for pole. So it’s that close. When you’re in that position that’s a feel-good but you realistically have a chance to score.”