Alonso says he will "definitely" return to the Indy 500

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Alonso says he will
Edd Straw
By: Edd Straw
May 28, 2017, 10:09 PM

Fernando Alonso says he will definitely return to the Indianapolis 500 in future following the engine failure that took him out of contention for victory on his debut.

Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda, Tony Kanaan, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda speaks to the media after retiring from the race
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda

The McLaren Honda Andretti driver led 27 laps and was a strong contender for victory in his first Indy 500 start when his Honda engine let go while running seventh with 21 laps remaining.

While Alonso says his priority is to be in a car with the potential of winning the Formula 1 world championship, he still sees Indy as a challenge still to be completed.

“Definitely, yes,” said Alonso, when asked if he is hungry to return to Indy,

“Obviously, if I come back here, at least I know how everything is. It will not be the first time I do restarts, pitstops, all these kinds of things.

“So it will be an easier, let’s say, adaptation. Let’s see what happens in the following years. I need to keep pursuing this challenge, because winning the Indy 500 is not completed.”

Alonso described the race, and the two-week buildup to it, as a “great experience” despite the disappointment of being classified only 24th after the failure.

“I’m obviously disappointed not to finish the race because every race you compete, you want to be at the chequered flag," he added. "Today it was not possible.

“It was a great experience, the last two weeks. I came here to prove myself, to challenge myself.

“I know that I can be as quick as anyone in an F1 car, I didn’t know if I can be as quick as anyone in an IndyCar. It was nice to have this competitive feeling, leading the Indy 500.”

Alonso is confident that he would have been in contention for victory had the engine not failed, adding that some of his rivals were fortunate to have got ahead of him thanks to cautions.

“With a trouble-free race, Ryan [Hunter-Reay], Alexander [Rossi] and myself would be half a lap in front of everyone," he said. "That is the nature of this race.

“Even with some unlucky moments of yellow flags, we were in the mix. I think I had a little bit in the pocket before the engine blew up.”

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