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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.

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.