Arrow McLaren SP has announced a third Indianapolis 500 entry with two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso behind the wheel.
The news comes after Honda vetoed Alonso’s entry into this year’s Indy 500 due to his bad relationship with the engine manufacturer during his last few years in Formula 1.
Arrow McLaren SP is running with Chevrolet engines for their IndyCar program, and thus do not have the same restrictions placed on his involvement.
“I am a racer and the Indy 500 is the greatest race in the world,” said Alonso.
“I love the incredible fans who make it so special for all of us drivers and make me want to come back. I have maximum respect for this race and everyone who competes in it and all I want to do is race against them and give my best, as always.
“I am impressed with how the new organization and operation is developing into a strong package with the Chevrolet partnership. The team has experienced, well-qualified people and great resources, and I’m confident we can be competitive.”
Alonso has attempted two previous Indy 500 races in 2017 and 2019. In 2017, he led 27 laps before his Honda engine failed near the end of the race putting even more strain on the relationship between him and his engine partner.
2019 saw the Spaniard attempt another Indy 500, but this time with a Chevrolet powered McLaren. He would fail to qualify after being bumped for the final starting position by a mere 0.0129 seconds.
This year Arrow McLaren SP is a full-time team competing in the NTT IndyCar series and will give Alonso a more established program in which to compete than in previous years.
Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, worked with Alonso in Formula 1 in 2017 and 2018 and has been closely involved in getting the new IndyCar project up and running for this season.
“We’ve always said we’re open to running Fernando in a third car for the 500, so we’re delighted he’s decided to join us,” said Brown.
“Fernando is one of the greatest drivers in the sport and it’s fantastic to have him as part of the team. It’s a fine way to contest our first Indy 500 as Arrow McLaren SP and to have Ruoff Mortgage backing Fernando is a perfect partnership.”
Alonso will have young team-mates in Oliver Askew and Pato O’Ward pairing him for the month of May. The 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be held on May 24.