Fernando Alonso returning to Indianapolis 500 in 2019

Yahoo Sports
Fernando Alonso led 27 laps in the 2017 Indianapolis 500. (Via Reuters)
Fernando Alonso led 27 laps in the 2017 Indianapolis 500. (Via Reuters)

Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso is coming back to the Indianapolis 500.

McLaren announced Saturday that Alonso would compete in the 2019 race. Alonso raced in the 2017 Indy 500 but didn’t compete in 2018.

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“I’ve made clear for some time my desire to achieve the Triple Crown,” Alonso said. He wants to win at Indy, Monaco and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “I had an incredible experience at Indianapolis in 2017 and I knew in my heart of hearts I had to go back if the opportunity was there. I’m especially glad to be returning with McLaren. This was always my first choice if the team decided to do it, so I’m delighted they’ve decided to go ahead. It’s a tough race and we’ll be up against the best, so it will be a huge challenge. But we’re racers and that’s why we race. One of the things I’m looking forward to most is seeing the fans again, who are absolutely fantastic.”

Alonso was competitive in his first Indianapolis start but was befallen by engine issues that plagued the Honda power units throughout the month of May. He led 27 laps after starting fifth but finished 29th after his engine went kablooie with 22 laps to go.

McLaren partnered with Andretti Autosport for Alonso’s Indy 500 run in 2017. McLaren didn’t say Saturday who it would be partnering with for the 2019 race. Alonso skipped the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix to compete in the Indianapolis 500.

Many IndyCar fans were hopeful that Alonso would move full-time to IndyCar in 2019. That’s not happening as Alonso moves on from Formula 1. He has not announced his full slate of racing for 2019 but is expected to compete in a fair number of sports car races.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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