Fernando Alonso has made it no secret that he’s out to win the Indy 500 crown – but what would a loss spell for the Spaniard?
From the moment he announced that he would be skipping Formula One’s crown jewel, the Monaco Grand Prix, in favor of pursuing a different sort of crown at the Indy 500, it was clear that Fernando Alonso was in it to win it. The Spaniard has shown his capabilities out on the oval already, positioning himself in fourth place two days in a row during testing at the oval – but his possibilities ahead to beg the question: what happens if Alonso’s stint at the Indy 500?
Far be it for this to sound like a wishful statement – it isn’t. But while the hype for an Alonso victory continues to rise day by day, it does beg to be quelled by the ever-innocuous “what-if”. If Alonso were to place outside of the top three, top ten, or be hit with a DNF for whatever reason, it’s easy to say that he won’t be having a good day. With his desire to win a race in a competitive car seemingly coming only from the Indy 500, Alonso is quite literally putting all his eggs in one basket. A fair move, however, considering his other basket has a gaping hole in the bottom.
Were Alonso to fail in his efforts to clinch the crown at the Indy 500, a momentous build-up to one of Motorsports’ greatest and most venerated events would be quite deflating. Sure, Alonso has been given the grand treatment by McLaren, Honda, and Andretti alike – but who’s to say he’ll get the same sort of response should he opt to take another stab at it next year? Something seems to indicate that were he to keep taking jabs at the Indy 500, McLaren may not be so open to letting him skip the Monaco Grand Prix annually.
Although Alonso is a fantastic driver inside of a fantastic car at the Indy 500, it is Motorsports after all, and as always – anything can happen. There have already been a series of knicks, bumps, and crashes out at the Indy oval, and while Alonso has managed to avoid any sort of incident with his current performance, managing the track will get a lot tougher when he’s blasting around the pavement at 220MPH speeds with only several inches of space between himself and the others.
Alonso’s got the chops to snatch the victory from under the nose of the rest, and he certainly won’t be the first rookie to do so should he manage. And, perhaps, if this year’s reaction to his participation is any indication of both fan and sport reaction, the IndyCar folks will be more than happy to have him back round for another (left) turn at the oval in future years.