All you need to know with the Spaniard missing one of the biggest races of the F1 calendar
FERNANDO ALONSO will not be racing at the Monaco Grand Prix this year.
The Spaniard announced in April that he will instead race at the Indy 500.
Here’s everything you need to know about the reasons why Alonso has pulled out of Monaco, and who his replacement will be.
Why has Fernando Alonso pulled out of the Monaco Grand Prix?
Fernando Alonso will take part in the Indy 500 on the same day as Monaco.
The McLaren driver said: “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.
“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.”
Alonso added that he aims to emulate the great Graham Hill and become only the second driver to win the triple crown of Monaco, Le Mans and the Indy 500.
“I’ve won the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and it’s one of my ambitions to win the Triple Crown, which has been achieved by only one driver in the history of motorsport: Graham Hill.
“It’s a tough challenge, but I’m up for it. I don’t know when I’m going to race at Le Mans, but one day I intend to. I’m only 35: I’ve got plenty of time for that.”
Have McLaren agreed to let Alonso race the Indy 500?
Alonso will be racing in the McLaren-Honda-Andretti car, marking the first time the manufacturer has entered the Indy 500 in 38 years.
McLaren have confirmed they are delighted to have teamed up with Andretti Autosport this year, after the team won last year’s race.
McLaren’s American executive director Zak Brown, who will be in Indianapolis, claims Alonso could secure a famous victory.
He said: “Could Fernando win this year’s Indy 500? Well, I wouldn’t be so silly as to make any such rash prediction, but I expect him to be in the mix.
“Put it this way: the team he’ll be racing for won the race last year, using the same Honda engine, and he’s the best racing driver in the world.
“That’s quite a compelling combination.
“OK, equally, he’ll have his work cut out to acclimatise to running at super-speedway velocities.
“But ultimately it’s quality that counts in all forms of motorsport, and Fernando is very definitely quality. He’s ballsy and brave too.”
Will Jenson Button replace Alonso at the Monaco Grand Prix?
McLaren have confirmed that Button will replace Alonso in what could now be described as his home Grand Prix, given that he lives in the principality.
The British driver won the race in 2009 on the way to a spectacular world championship win.
Button confirmed he was delighted to be back, saying: “I’m thrilled to be making a one-off return to Formula 1 racing.
“And I couldn’t think of a better place to make that return than my adopted home Grand Prix: Monaco.”
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