Ryan Wood  |    |   0  |  6 January 2018

Fernando Alonso targeting Indy 500 return in 2019

Fernando Alonso says he is targeting a return to the Indianapolis 500 in 2019 following his semi-successful debut in 2017 where he led before his retirement.

The Spaniard skipped the Monaco Grand Prix with permission from his McLaren team to compete in the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 with a special one-car McLaren-Andretti entry. Alonso qualified fifth for the race and led for parts before retiring on lap 179 with a Honda engine failure.

Alonso will not compete this year, instead opting to race at the 24 Hours of Daytona with United Autosports, while an outing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Toyota has been mooted, but is eyeing an Indy 500 comeback in 2019.

"The main focus and priority is Formula 1 and winning a third world championship," Alonso told media on Friday. "I think this year with McLaren we have a good opportunity to show how good is the team with the Renault power unit, we should be back to the top places. That is the main focus.

"To race in some iconic events during the season and not disturb Formula 1 is also the plan," he added. "Doing this race [Daytona] is also some kind of first step in endurance and how these races are and how much I enjoy these races.

"After the 24 hours at Daytona, I will have a better understanding of these championships. Le Mans 24 hour and the triple crown is another target, so if I can fit the Le Mans 24 hour this year as I’m not doing the Indy 500, that would be great.

"Hopefully the following year, the Indy 500 can be in the plan again."

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