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Indy 500 on Fernando Alonso’s radar as alternative to F1

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Fernando Alonso is considering racing in the Indianapolis 500 as an alternative to Formula 1, saying that he is “not at all happy” with the direction that the series is going in.

Alonso currently races with McLaren, and although the team has made significant progress in recent months, he has failed to get anywhere near the heights of his heyday with Renault in 2005 and 2006 when he won the world championship.

The Spaniard expressed his disappointment with modern-day F1, with his future seeming to hinge on the overhaul of the technical regulations for 2017.

“I’m not at all happy for some things that are happening,” Alonso told Autosprint in Italy.

“We can never drive the cars to their real limit. We can never attack as much as we would like because the tires don’t allow you to.

“Many things will change next year. Let’s hope the joy of driving will return to be a major factor.

“If F1 carries on going in a different direction to what I knew and loved in the past, at that point I could consider other alternatives and leave F1.”

Alonso has spoken of his desire to race at Le Mans before, but is now also looking at IndyCar, believing it to offer a big change from his current style of racing.

“Le Mans would be the option closest to my driving style and to what I’ve always done,” Alonso said.

“The Indy 500 is a fascinating, radical change because you must learn a completely different driving style and way of thinking.

“I’d be open and ready to learn it because when you have been F1 world champion there are only two other races that are equivalent prestige-wise: the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500.”

However, Alonso did acknowledge that it would not be a move he could make in the short-term.

“It would be a plan that would be really long-term in order to be turned to reality,” he said.

Alonso had previously been linked with a drive in Porsche’s third car at Le Mans in 2015, only for Honda to reportedly veto the move.

Nico Hulkenberg’s victory with the German marque did spark the idea of F1 drivers managing ‘double duties’ once again.

Yet with the Indy 500 now clashing with the Monaco Grand Prix most years, and given the extensive testing required, it is unlikely we’ll see Alonso at the Brickyard until his F1 career is over.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”