Double Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has had a setback in his attempt to win the Indianapolis 500 after Honda has vetoed any attempt of a return which was set to be with Andretti Autosport.
According to RACER, in a report published on Sunday evening, Honda Performance Development – the US arm of Honda’s racing department – had sought permission from Japan over securing Alonso’s services, but was told the deal was not to happen from the headquarters of the company in Tokyo.
Alonso was associated with Honda during the Japanese marque’s partnership with McLaren from 2015 through 2017, during which phase the company struggled for performance and reliability, much to Alonso’s frustration, with matters occasionally boiling over publicly.
Alonso has more recently competed with Toyota, in both the World Endurance Championship, and at last month’s Dakar Rally.
MotorsportWeek.com has reached out to Andretti Autosport for comment.
What does this mean?
With Honda’s veto seemingly in place, the Spaniard will now have to seek a Chevrolet-powered entry to the famous race, should he wish to attempt the race for a third time.
Potential candidates include A.J Foyt, Carlin and Dale Coyne. Alonso may also have to reconnect with McLaren and take the third car at Arrow McLaren SP – should that be an option.
The Honda situation also could prove to be a lifeline for James Hinchcliffe after the Canadian recently confirmed he would return to the Brickyard for the GMR Indy Grand Prix and the Indy 500 after finding a sponsor in telecoms company, Genesys and has yet to confirm a team.
Hinchcliffe was pulled from the AMSP line-up after the team signed Patricio O’Ward alongside 2019 Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew, leaving him on the sidelines despite the team willing to honour his contract.
With a personal contract with the Japanese manufacturer, it is a situation that could prove fruitful in favour of Hinchcliffe if he were to make a return to Andretti for the famous race.