Fernando Alonso says he considered to add more IndyCar races to his schedule aside the Indy500 outing.
Given that experience means so much in the Indy500, we often see drivers who intend to take part in ‘the greatest spectacle in racing’ use other, earlier races as practice sessions of sorts to get things properly working with the team ahead of the big event.
And, 2020 Indy500 hopeful Alonso – who will drive for Arrow McLaren SP – says he has considered running additional races in the upcoming season, as he intended on avoiding a repeat of his 2019 attempt which saw him fail to qualify on Bump Day.
However, this opportunity may not arise for the Spaniard as the month of May and the races prior to it remain under threat from COVID-19. Moreover, Alonso hopes to run an oval, of which none are before the 500, even in a regular schedule.
“I’ve thought about that, and that was part of the conversations that I had with both teams (Andretti and McLaren), what they were thinking about that and what are their thoughts and experience, and it’s still something — an open point that we need to develop a little bit more,” said Alonso.
“Formula 1 thinks that maybe later in the year it can be a possibility to experience a normal IndyCar race just to see how it feels and to add some more experience. I have the thought that maybe that would be before the Indy500 because maybe it gives me a little bit of preparation.
“You see I’m not doing F1 or I’m not doing endurance championship, so my next race is going to be the Dakar Rally, which is a completely opposite style, so maybe one race before or some extra prep will be a help also for me, even if it’s not proper oval racing.
“There are things that are under negotiations, and that was also something that took a role in the final decision, as well, between the teams. If possible, the F1 world champion would particularly like to partake in the IndyGP in early May – this is a race which most Indy500 competitors do, as it kicks off the month of festivities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I think it’s not up to me 100 percent. As I said before, I think more tests, more simulator, more races, whatever I do before the Indy500, it can be only beneficial to my preparation because I would like to be a little bit more active from now to the Indy500.
“But there are other things that may compromise the Indy500 car or the setup or the building of everything, so I don’t want to make any problem to that preparation. There are things that we will talk to the team, and as I said before, they have much more experience than me, with Sam, with Zach, with Gil.
“We will figure out what is the best preparation, and as I said before, I’m open to do more things than in the past,” summed up Alonso. As mentioned, his idea could hit a roadblock as all the races until April end is cancelled and Indy500 also not 100 percent certain.
Here’s news on IndyCar races cancellation due to COVID-19
Here’s Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon on their team’s expansion
Here’s Fernando Alonso on lack of experience at Arrow McLaren SP
Here’s what Fernando Alonso said regarding Andretti-Honda
Here’s Josef Newgarden on title rivals for 2020 IndyCar
Here’s Simon Pagenaud on Indy500