News Fernando Alonso will race the Indy 500 in 2019

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James Allen

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Fernando Alonso has confirmed he will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next year, in another attempt at winning the Indy 500.

As with his IndyCar debut in 2017, the two-time Formula One champion will race for McLaren at the 2019 Indy 500. Though the official announcement doesn’t mention a project partner, it’s likely that Andretti Autosport (the team that ran Alonso’s 2017 Indy 500 car) will support McLaren and Alonso at next year’s race.

Though only his second entry in the iconic race, Fernando Alonso has a good chance of performing well at the demanding event. As well as leading the field on multiple occasions, the Spaniard was also in a strong position to win the race before an engine failure forced him to retire.

In a statement, Fernando Alonso said: “I’ve made clear for some time my desire to achieve the Triple Crown [by winning the Indy 500, the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Monaco Grand Prix). 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. 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.”

Fernando Alonso is already two-thirds of the way there to becoming the first racing driver since Graham Hill to earn the Triple Crown. As well as winning the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix twice, he also won Le Mans this year on his debut for Toyota.

Alonso will also be one of many ex-Formula One drivers on the Indy 500 grid next year. At time of writing, confirmed former F1 drivers who’ll compete in the race include Max Chilton, Marcus Ericsson and Takuma Sato (the latter becoming an Indy 500 winner in 2017).

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Travis
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Travis

Good on Alonso for having another crack at the race. Perhaps McLaren should head back to North America on a fulltime basis as the F1 team is a shadow of its former self.