The general manager of Honda’s motorsport division Masashi Yamamoto says he would be open to Fernando Alonso racing for a Honda-powered entry in IndyCar next year.
Alonso has been heavily linked with a move to IndyCar in 2019 after completing two parts of the ‘triple crown’ with his victory at Le Mans last weekend. While McLaren looks increasingly likely to enter the series full-time in partnership with an existing team, strong ties with Andretti Autosport — which ran Alonso’s McLaren entry at the Indianapolis 500 last year — bring the added complication of a Honda engine supply.
Honda received huge amounts of criticism from Alonso during its three poor years in partnership with McLaren in Formula 1, but Yamamoto is not ruling out the possibility of the pair being reunited in IndyCar.
“Ah, Alonso!” Yamamoto said. “Drivers exist or they’re here to win races. That’s their goal. I’m very neutral in that sense. Regarding last year, I feel very sorry for the McLaren drivers because we were unable to achieve their goals, to give them an opportunity.
“Regarding Indy, I’m just an advisor, and it’s all decided by America Honda [HPD], I can only advise it. I think he’s a fabulous driver.”
Alonso’s future at McLaren is unclear, with the team admitting this week that it has had preliminary discussions with Daniel Ricciardo about potentially replacing the Spaniard if he were to leave F1. If that were to happen, racing director Eric Boullier admits the aim is to have Alonso involved in another McLaren project.
“Drivers are under consideration and it’s just a matter of when you start to thing and build and maybe discuss,” Boullier said. “As far as we are concerned for Fernando, we would like obviously for him to stay in the McLaren family and I’m not sure yet he has taken his decision, so we will see at the right time.”
Should Alonso not lead a future McLaren IndyCar entry, Scott Dixon has been linked with the seat.