The Spaniard, Fernando Alonso, has made his feelings about Formula 1 known in recent years; constantly complaining — and with good reason. A demanding driver of his caliber does (and should) feel entitled to having a sporting chance at a win — or at least a podium. Several seasons in sub-par equipment have left him resentful. Rather than squander the remainder of his peak years squabbling in the middle of the pack, he started branching out and exploring the wider world of motorsport — which is something uncommon in today’s F1. For the aforementioned reasons, he’ll be leaving F1 at the end of the season.
That adventurous spirit is what endears him to so many of the old guard — and so much of why he was welcomed at Indianapolis and Le Mans. We all witnessed his remarkable performance on the ovals at Indy — a testament to a humble attitude despite his reputation. While some established F1 drivers might’ve taken the challenge of the Brickyard a little lightly, he had no qualms spending every moment learning like a hungry first-timer should.
Which is why it’s so exciting to see him back in IndyCar — but this time on a road course. Testing for the first time with the road course aero kit — at a soggy Barber no less — he proved why he is still one of the best racing drivers around today, if not ever. His flowing, fluid lines, mixed with assertive steering inputs and demonstrable comfort with the rear shimmying under power is precisely the performance we expect from a driver of his caliber.
Andretti once again provided the car — which again wears the #29 as did his car for last year’s Indy 500. The test wasn’t completely conclusive, but it does suggest that Alonso will take his talent Stateside where, hopefully, he could enjoy more success than he could manage in recent years in F1. With victory at Monaco and Le Mans, he could be the next to win the Triple Crown.