Michael Andretti has been working diligently to bring Fernando Alonso back to the Indianapolis 500, and it sounds like a deal is imminent.
“It’s not done yet but it’s looking pretty good,” said Andretti on Wednesday from his shop in Indy. “We want it to happen, and I’ve just got to figure out how to get it funded. I think we can find a sponsor, but do I roll the dice, sign him and then hope to get it funded? I really enjoy working with the guy, and I want to make it happen.”
Andretti told RACER two months ago he wanted to run the two-time world champion but the big hurdle was getting Honda’s blessing. McLaren and Alonso parted company with Honda in Formula 1 with hard feelings after being criticized by the team and driver for lack of performance. Last May, in a solo effort by McLaren, Alonso had to run Chevrolet, but the engine had nothing to do with him failing to qualify.
It’s believed that Andretti has discussed Indy specifically with Honda and hasn’t yet met any resistance, but there hasn’t been any conversation yet regarding other races besides Indianapolis.
“We talked about it [running more races] and it’s possible, but nothing before Indianapolis,” said Andretti. “I don’t want to do anything to hurt our other efforts, but it would be great for the series.”
McLaren president Zak Brown had hoped to run Alonso in a third car this May for the newly-formed Arrow McLaren SP team, but told RACER recently the popular Spaniard has “his blessings” if he goesto Andretti, where he ran so strong in 2017.