Fernando Alonso will be testing an IndyCar for Andretti Autosport on September 5 at Barber Motorsport Park with a Honda engine – and its blessings.
“Fernando Alonso is one of the premier racing drivers of this generation, and we very much enjoyed working with him at the 2017 Indianapolis 500,” said Honda Performance Development president Art St. Cyr in a statement.
“He has shown that he can be very competitive right off the bat, and it would be great for IndyCar if he were to decide to drive here full-time after his F1 career. Having Alonso as a driver would be an obvious benefit for any team or manufacturer.
“Our engine lease agreements are made between HPD and specific teams. Several of our current IndyCar Series teams already have agreements in place with HPD for the 2019 season, and we have been operating near maximum capacity all year long to properly provide powerful, reliable engines for all of our teams. We have had discussions with several current and potential teams for 2019, and those discussions are ongoing.”
It’s believed the two-time Formula 1 champion, who announced earlier this week he will not compete in F1 next year, will fly into Barber on September 4 for a seat fitting.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown has been in negotiations for months with Michael Andretti to run Alonso full-time in 2019 on the IndyCar circuit, but RACER has reported for the past few weeks that Honda of Japan remains at odds with McLaren (not Alonso) for derogatory comments and other issues during the 2016 and 2017 F1 seasons.
That’s why, as previously reported by RACER, Andretti is looking to strike a deal with Mike Harding and use his Chevrolet engine lease to run Alonso in a satellite team with a teammate yet to be selected, but manned by Andretti crewmen. But it remains to be seen if Honda would be willing to let Andretti to continue to be a flagship team and also run a Chevy.