Alonso rules out IndyCar challenge in 2019

With Zak Brown confirming yesterday that McLaren will not be branching out into IndyCar anytime soon, preferring to focus purely on F1, some speculated that this may have scuppered Fernando Alonso‘s plans.

However, the Spaniard says he has been aware of McLaren‘s plans for some time and it was never his intention to contest a full season of IndyCar.

“You found out McLaren won’t be running in IndyCar next year,” he told reporters at COTA, “but I’ve known it since August, so what was said doesn’t affect my future plans the least, as I’ve known it for a couple of months.

“I went there and tested an IndyCar in September just to know how the cars felt like,” he added, “There was no hidden agenda, no other plan for the future.

“Zak announced it, and now I’ve read people saying this was a setback for me,” he continued, “but it wasn’t, because it was never in my plans to do a full IndyCar season, so nothing changed for me.

“My program for next year has been clear for me for many months, but we need to put things together, do a crossover of many plans from different series, different companies and when it will always be settled we’ll make the announcement. But doing a full IndyCar season was never an option.

“I’ll want to do some IndyCar in the future,” he admitted, “but not next year for sure. That would mean doing 17 races, all in America, learning the category and the tracks from zero, so that would require a commitment and determination that was never in my plans. That Zak announced it was for McLaren‘s benefit as, in any case, I was never in the plans for a full season.”

However, as he seeks to become only the second driver to achieve the Triple Crown, the Spaniard doesn’t rule out another assault on Indianapolis.

“Doing a race like we did last year, the Indy 500, is something we’re evaluating,” he said, “but there’s no decision taken, far from it.”