Fernando Alonso might be back in full Formula 1 mode, but the two-time world champion is still front and center among IndyCar fans after his spectacular debut in the Indianapolis 500 – and NBCSN smartly capitalized on the Spaniard’s return to North America for the Canadian Grand Prix to arrange an on-air phone-in interview with him during the early stages of IndyCar’s RainGuard 600.
“Yes, spectacular!” enthused Alonso of the Texas race, explaining he was following live “on my computer” from Montreal. “The race is super-cool to watch.”
Alonso admitted he had been impressed by the camaraderie among the drivers at Indy, telling NBC Sports’ Paul Tracy, “It was truly a great experience for me. All the drivers were amazing from Day 1; they tried to help me as much as they could. Obviously you want to beat everyone on the track but, off the track, but there was a lot of respect. Obviously with the speeds of oval racing being so great, you need to have that respect from each other. And also my [Andretti Autosport] teammates, we all worked together inside the team – which is probably different, compared to F1, so the whole month was amazing for me.”
After his comments earlier this week to the effect that he expects his McLaren-Honda team to be able to win by this September in order to persuade him to stay with the team beyond this season, the inevitable question was posed: Might he consider a switch to IndyCar if no suitably competitive F1 seats are available to him?
“Why not?” declared Alonso. “I mean, I’m very open to anything. I don’t have a clear answer right now. Watching now the [Texas] race…I had so many things to learn for one race, and would need to learn many more to do the full season. So, let’s say that I’m more ready to do F1. I will try to find the best car possible out there, and look at different options, but yes, Indy would be the first priority for the Triple Crown; and the full season, with another team? Why not?”
Mischievous? Maybe, but also tasty food for thought…