Fernando Alonso highlights Carlin’s Indy under performance issues
Former double Formula 1 Champion Fernando Alonso has taken a dig at McLaren's technical partner for the Indianapolis 500, Carlin after failing to qualify for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.
The Woking-based manufacturer paired with successful British team Carlin Racing, owned by Trevor Carlin, who are well known for their success in many junior formula, but was only in their second full season of competition in IndyCar, having dipped their toes into the water in 2018 with a double entry for Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball.
In Sunday's last-row shootout to secure a place in the iconic event, Alonso and McLaren were unable to get the car up to speed after switching to a Carlin-prepared back-up car due to a heavy crash in Wednesday's practice session which caused heavy damage to the McLaren Technology Centre-prepared primary car.
Alonso was left on the bubble after his one-shot effort in Sunday's rain-delayed session, only managing to go 0.1mph faster than his best effort on Saturday, which would have been good enough to make it inside the automatic top 30 qualifiers, had he run that speed during qualifying on Saturday.
But plucky Juncos Racing's Kyle Kaiser was the last driver in the shootout to get in the race and beat Alonso's best effort by 0.19mph to bump the Spaniard and McLaren out in a hastily rebuilt car after Kaiser had crashed it during Saturday’s qualifying attempt.
A massive effort for a minnow team that had also lost its primary sponsor in the week leading up to qualifying.
And to compound the hurt for Alonso and McLaren, the other two cars which failed to make the race were both Carlin ones in the form of Red Bull-backed Patricio O'Ward and Max Chilton.
"Well, I think it's a combination of things. We were not fast… not only today, I think the whole event, we were struggling a little bit,” Alonso said when asked in the post-session press conference if he knew the main reason he wasn't fast enough.
"And yeah, if you see the cars that we are out, maybe it will answer your question.
"It has been a very long qualifying, nearly 56 hours of qualifying from yesterday morning. So yeah, we were just one place all the time-out. Yesterday 31st instead of 30.
"Today 34th instead of 33 by a very small margin, and yeah, unfortunately not fast enough in any or both days."