McLaren Honda driver Fernando Alonso stunned the entire motor racing fraternity by announcing that he will be missing the Monaco GP to participate in the Indianapolis 500. Alonso has received full support from McLaren and Honda to participate in this prestigious race. The Monte Carlo GP, the Le Mans 24hrs and the Indy 500 are the three races that are considered the ‘triple crown’. Only one person has ever won all three races and that was Graham Hill in 1960.
Although McLaren have not named a replacement for Alonso yet, many believe that Jenson Button is the next logical choice. The 2009 world champion took a sabbatical from F1 to promote Belgian driver Stoffel Vandoorne to a race seat. Button has not retired, but instead has taken up a role of a reserve driver and is still under contract. The Briton had signed a 2 year deal with the Woking squad before announcing that he was going to take up a managerial role with an option to race in 2018. Following the announcement of Alonso joining the Indy 500, there were a lot of calls by the fans to the McLaren team to draft in Jenson. He took to Twitter to express his reaction.
Why do I have so many missed calls? 🤔
— Jenson Button (@JensonButton) April 12, 2017
There are other drivers on the McLaren roster, namely Oliver Turvey, Nobuharu Matsushita and Nyck De Vries. But it is understood that none of these drivers have a superlicense yet. A superlicense is a crucial factor in ensuring a drive in Formula One. Alonso will be racing in a standalone team in partnership with the Andretti team. The reaction of the IndyCAR drivers has been fairly positive although some of them admitted that they thought that it was a prank.
Of course, this also meant that the ‘Places Alonso Would Rather Be’ hashtag began trending yet again, as did the meme of Alonso lounging on a deck chair. Here are some of the best ones.
— Essaar GP (@essaarGP) April 12, 2017
Did Fernando actually look through all the #placesalonsowouldratherbe and actually picked one?!
— Adrian Michael Rees (@PlanetOfTheApex) April 12, 2017
— Matthew Somerfield 🅢🅞🅜🅔🅡🅢Ⓕ① (@SomersF1) March 10, 2017
— Artis Ābele (@A3tris) March 8, 2017
— Dave Gregory (@davegregory42) March 7, 2017