Alonso to race at Indy 500 with McLaren, will miss Monaco GP

New Delhi [India], Apr. 13 (ANI): After an absence of 38 years, McLaren is to return to the Indianapolis 500 next month, using Honda engines.

On May 28, McLaren will enter a single car in the 101st Indianapolis 500, powered by Honda.

The car will be run by the Andretti Autosport team, headed by founder, owner and Chief Executive Officer Michael Andretti, a former IndyCar champion, who raced in Formula 1 for McLaren alongside the legendary Ayrton Senna for a single season (1993) and is the son of three-time IndyCar champion and one-time Formula 1 champion Mario Andretti.

The McLaren-Honda-Andretti entry, a Dallara DW12 chassis as used by all IndyCar teams, will be driven by current McLaren driver Fernando Alonso, who has started 275 Grand Prix, has won 32 of those races, has become Formula 1 world champion twice, and has been Formula 1 runner-up three times.

Its engine will be a Honda 2.2-litre twin-turbo V6, limited by IndyCar regulations to 12,000rpm.

Since the Indianapolis 500 will take place on May 28th, the same day as the Monaco Grand Prix, Fernando will not race at Monaco this year.

The Indianapolis 500 will be the only 2017 IndyCar race in which Fernando will compete, however, and the Monaco Grand Prix will therefore be the only 2017 Formula 1 race in which he will not compete.

In due course McLaren-Honda will announce the identity of the driver who will race Fernando's car at Monaco.

Fernando Alonso said, "I'm immensely excited that I'll be racing in this year's Indy 500, with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport."

"The Indy 500 is one of the most famous races on the global motorsport calendar, rivalled only by the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Monaco Grand Prix [which Fernando has won twice, one of those victories at the wheel of a McLaren (in 2007)], and it's of course a regret of mine that I won't be able to race at Monaco this year."

"But Monaco will be the only 2017 Grand Prix I'll be missing, and I'll be back in the cockpit of the McLaren-Honda MCL32 for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in early June," he added.

Zak Brown, Executive Director, McLaren Technology Group, said, "As an American, albeit one who fell in love with Formula 1 at a very young age, I've always regarded the Indy 500 as a fantastic motor race."

"Equally, this project wouldn't have been possible without Honda's support and encouragement. And our car - the McLaren-Honda-Andretti - will be decked out in the papaya orange livery made famous by our founder Bruce McLaren, and in which Johnny Rutherford drove McLaren IndyCars to Indy 500 victory in both 1974 and 1976. (ANI)