Fernando Alonso decision to join the Indy 500 has been the talk of the town since the announcement, but not all are as pleased as the Spaniard.
While the story of Fernando Alonso’s escapade to the Indy 500 flooding the Motorsport media channels may stir ire in some, there is a lot to the story that requires going over –such as the thoughts and opinions of the other drivers. Alonso’s upset will mean that out of only twenty Formula One drivers in the world, one will elect to not participate in what is arguably the series’ most iconic Grand Prix – Monaco.
Alonso seemed thrilled in the press conferences he’s given since the surprise announcement, and his partners in IndyCar are equally jovial of the potential having such a star in their midst would do for the sport, but there is dissension in the ranks. Not all drivers are backing Alonso’s decision – some even wondering if this decision is proof of Alonso’s allegedly waning commitment to the McLaren-Honda project.
Romain Grosjean of Haas spoke out about Fernando’s statement, saying that he wouldn’t pull the same move as the Spaniard:
“It’s good for him if he wants to do it. I’m surprised. Monaco is one of the races where you can easily … it’s not the best engine on the grid, kind of try to do something. It’s an iconic race of the season.
I give myself 100 percent and I push really hard. I’m here to do my best for the team. I wouldn’t skip a race, especially Monaco, but good for him if it’s what he wants.
I’m not here to judge anything, I’m not boss of McLaren. I’m just saying yeah, it’s great for motorsport having a Formula 1 driver going to Indianapolis, but you can do that when you finish racing.
There are 20 [F1 drivers] in the world and one is just skipping Mon
aco, which is one of the most iconic to go somewhere else. I’m just saying I wouldn’t do it if I was committed.”
– Romain Grosjean
Grosjean does have a point. What sort of sign does it send when one of the top-tier drivers of a series opts-out of a season race to go participate in another? Long-term desire notwithstanding. The next play we can expect to see should come from Liberty Media. If they embrace Alonso’s decision, we could see a radical shift in the openness of the Formula One structure.