Fernando Alonso will not be allowed to race in the Indianapolis 500 in 2021 or 2022 even if there are no clashes as a result of his Renault Formula 1 contract.
The Spaniard is taking part in his third Indy 500 this month, and crashed during practice on Thursday at the Brickyard. While he will return to Formula 1 for Renault in 2021 and 2022, there’s no clash between the Monaco Grand Prix and next year’s 500, with McLaren previously stating it would be willing to allow Alonso to race if someone else qualified his car. However, Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has ruled out that possibility.
“It’s a very straightforward answer,” Abiteboul said. “Actually, I’m hardly breathing until next weekend when he is stepping out of his racing car at Indianapolis. But I can be very clear that once he’s with us, that’s for good and for a while. So, no distractions.”
During a pre-Indy video conference earlier this week, Alonso said that he saw the opportunity to compete alongside his F1 commitments as “impossible,” even if teams were open to him missing qualifying while racing in Monaco.
“I think I approach the (Indy 500) knowing the next two years is going to be impossible to come,” Alonso said. “I will have to miss qualifying weekend if I wanted to do so. I will not be anymore with McLaren next year in F1. That will not work, either. I know at least for two years, I will not be here.
“This is the way it is at the moment. I’m here ready to enjoy the event, ready to give my best, and help the team as much as I can. Let’s see in the future what are the possibilities. If you eventually win the race, maybe that opens the possibility for different things.”