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"If the McLaren was competitive I wouldn't go to the Indy 500"

McLaren driver Fernando Alonso will miss the Monaco GP to take part in the Indy 500, one of the three races that make up motorsport's Triple Crown.
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Fernando Alonso, durante la rueda de prensa en Bahrein.
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Fernando Alonso was clear as to why he will miss the Monaco GP to race in the Indy 500: "If I want to be the best driver in the world I've got two options: win eight Formula 1 titles, one more than Schumacher, which is pretty difficult; or win various competitions at different moments in my career, showing I'm a driver who can win in any car in any category. That's what's behind the decision". The Spanish McLaren driver was speaking in his press conference ahead of the Bahrain GP.

If the McLaren was competitive Alonso wouldn't miss Monaco

Alonso made it clear that if "the McLaren was competitive I wouldn't go to Indianapolis", in reference to the continuing problems with the car this season, and its lack of power compared to its rivals. Alonso continued: "If I had 43 points like Hamilton and Vettel I wouldn't be able to miss a race. Things would be completely different".

Fernando Alonso in Formula 1 action this season
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Fernando Alonso in Formula 1 action this season

Alonso underlined that this decision has nothing to do with whether or not he'll continue with McLaren after this season. He said nothing had changed with respect to his future: "I told [McLaren] I'd think about it after the summer and take the decision on what I'll do next year. Nothing has changed. I'm not thinking about leaving F1. I'm closer than ever to McLaren."

Alonso will miss Monaco

In terms of his absence from the Monaco GP, the Spanish driver admitted it wasn't possible to compare the possibility of winning the Indy 500 with coming fifth or sixth in Monaco, where, Alonso was quick to point out, he's won twice.

The McLaren driver refused to be drawn on his chances in the Indy 500 however, saying he was only going to "enjoy the experience" and learn everything possible about the track and the cars.

Fernando Alonso wants the Triple Crown

Alonso admitted however he is keen to win motorsport's Triple Crown: the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours, which has only been achieved by one driver so far, Graham Hill.

Graham Hill, only winner of the Triple Crown
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Graham Hill, only winner of the Triple Crown

"If I want to win the Triple Crown I'll have to win this race one day. And if it happens this year, that would be very welcome.

As to when he'll race in Le Mans, Alonso said: "As soon as possible. I don't know if it'll be next year or later, but my first priority is Formula 1. If I can race in F1 and another category that'd be great. If not I'll just race in F1. My desire to win in F1 is bigger than any other challenge for me".


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