It was a wonderful rumor from across the pond: during Formula 1’s summer break, which begins after this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso was going to test an IndyCar for Andretti Autosport at Portland.
“There is nothing to it,” Andretti team president Rob Edwards said Wednesday night. “No F1 driver I know is testing for us next week.”
But, to the people who have written off in print the pairing of the two-time F1 champion and Michael Andretti’s team for 2019, not so fast.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown told RACER that IndyCar testing was on the to-do list.
“Fernando isn’t testing next week in Portland and was never scheduled to test there but he may test later in the year,” said Brown, who put the deal together that allowed Alonso’s magnificent debut in 2017 at Indianapolis. “He’s got a World Endurance Championship race in August so he’s staying in Europe during our break.
“But he may test [an IndyCar] later this fall. His calendar is pretty hectic so we’re trying to find a gap. He would be mega in IndyCar and I think he would love IndyCar racing. And I think IndyCar would love him as well.”
Asked by RACER’s Chris Medland Thursday if he will test an IndyCar before the end of the year, Alonso replied: “I have 13 or 14 races to do, not only the F1, so I think it’s going to be difficult to fit any more in the calendar. I definitely plan to do one more race in go karts, or two. Some endurance races, but more than that is difficult to fit in.”
Andretti told RACER in Toronto that things were still in play but it was getting late, while Brown acknowledged a lot would be going on in the next month.
“We are still working through our plans,” said Brown, who has met with Andretti at Indianapolis and Detroit about a two-car effort for next season in IndyCar. “We’re just laser-focused on F1 once we get past Hungary this weekend, and when the summer break kicks in we’ll start making some decisions.”