Formula 1: Recapping the past week’s news

Photo: Getty Images

McLaren, Alonso Looking to Enter IndyCar?

The most dominant news story from Formula 1 this week revolves around Fernando Alonso and McLaren.

The first domino to fall came with news that McLaren, as an entity, was seriously considering a move to the Verizon IndyCar Series next year, in addition to continuing its Formula 1 program.

Such a rumor is buoyed by the fact that McLaren team principal Zak Brown and Gil de Ferran, who recently joined the operation in a consulting manner, are meeting with IndyCar teams at this weekend’s Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, according to several reports.

Those rumors were ignited further in an interview that Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle did with The Express, a news outlet based in the U.K.

Brundle asserted that two-time world champion Alonso is unhappy with the situation at McLaren, and is re-evaluating his options for next year.

“I had a long sit down interview with Fernando Alonso pre-race (at Monaco) and he gave me a distinct impression that he likely wouldn’t be on the F1 grid next year,” Brundle said of Alonso, who dropped out of the Monaco Grand Prix with mechanical issues.

Brundle added, “You never know with him, he could retire then un-retire very quickly, but I think even his relentless energy and motivation is fading.”

Alonso, himself, was highly critical of the racing at Monaco, outright calling it “boring.”

“At least (watching the Indy 500) was fun, especially because the people who watched this race were a bit numb. Monaco was probably the most boring race in the history of F1 (in 2018),” Alonso said after Monaco.

Alonso, of course, famously sent shockwaves across the racing world last year when he skipped the Monaco Grand Prix to contest the Indianapolis 500, in a joint effort between McLaren and Andretti Autosport.

Given that Alonso had previously asserted his desire to add wins at the Indy 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans to his resume – he is also contesting a full 2018 slate of events in the World Endurance Championship, including Le Mans, with Toyota Gazoo Racing – Alonso’s Indy 500 effort immediately kicked off speculation about whether or not he would make the move to the Verizon IndyCar Series full-time.

And the reports of Alonso’s unhappiness in F1 at the moment along with McLaren’s apparent interest in going IndyCar racing will only add to that speculation.

Mallya Steps Down as Director of Force India

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 11: F1 Force India team boss Vijay Mallya walks through the press as he arrives at The City of Westminster Magistrates Court on January 11, 2018 in London, England. The Indian liquor tycoon is wanted in India on charges of fraud and money laundering. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Vijay Mallya, co-owner for Force India, has stepped away from the team according to a report from BBC Sport.

Mallya has been embroiled in legal troubles recently – he was arrested last fall on charges of money laundering, following an arrest earlier in the Spring on charges of fraud – and is in the midst of fighting on extradition request from the Indian government.

Mallya’s son, Siddarth, will fill in his role with the Force India team, though the elder Mallya is staying on as team principal.

“There was no compulsion anywhere to resign. It’s just that I decided my son should replace me. I have my own legal issues to take care of, so it’s better that the company remains unaffected,” Mallya said of his decision.

Force India is currently sixth in the constructor’s championship, with Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon sitting on 17 and nine points respectively.

Williams Parts Ways With Head of Aerodynamics

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 26: Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (18) Williams Martini Racing FW41 Mercedes on track during qualifying for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2018 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Amidst a very disappointing start to the season that sees them last in the constructor’s championship with four points – courtesy of Lance Stroll’s eighth place in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Williams has parted ways with Dirk De Beer, who had been their head of aerodynamics, per BBC Sport.

According to the BBC, the FW41 chassis has been suffering from a significant aerodynamic issue in which the air is not flowing cleanly over the car when the front wheels are turned, hampering the car’s grip level when it enters corners.

Chief engineer Doug McKiernan will take over that role.

The next event on the 2018 Formula 1 calendar is the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 10.




IndyCar results, points after Detroit Grand Prix


DETROIT — Alex Palou topped the results of an NTT IndyCar Series race for the second time this season, extending his championship points lead with his victory in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who also won the GMR Grand Prix (and the Indy 500 pole position) last month, holds a 51-point lead over teammate Marcus Ericsson (ninth at Detroit) through seven of 17 races this season.

Ganassi, which placed all four of its drivers in the top 10 at Detroit, has three of the top four in the championship standings with Scott Dixon ranked fourth after a fourth at Detroit.

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Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden is third in the standings after taking a 10th at Detroit. Pato O’Ward slipped to fifth in the points after crashing and finishing 26th

Here are the IndyCar results and points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:


Click here for the official box score from the 100-lap race on a nine-turn, 1.645-mile street course in downtown Detroit.

Lap leader summary

Full lap chart

Best section times

Full section data

Event summary

Pit stop summary

Here is the finishing order in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix with starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (1) Alex Palou, Honda, 100, Running
2. (7) Will Power, Chevrolet, 100, Running
3. (9) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 100, Running
4. (4) Scott Dixon, Honda, 100, Running
5. (13) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 100, Running
6. (12) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 100, Running
7. (2) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 100, Running
8. (11) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 100, Running
9. (6) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 100, Running
10. (5) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 100, Running
11. (24) Colton Herta, Honda, 100, Running
12. (17) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 100, Running
13. (8) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 100, Running
14. (20) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 100, Running
15. (15) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 100, Running
16. (18) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 100, Running
17. (25) Jack Harvey, Honda, 100, Running
18. (14) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 100, Running
19. (23) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 100, Running
20. (19) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 97, Running
21. (22) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 97, Running
22. (26) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 97, Running
23. (21) David Malukas, Honda, 85, Contact
24. (3) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 80, Contact
25. (27) Graham Rahal, Honda, 50, Contact
26. (10) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 41, Contact
27. (16) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 1, Contact

Winner’s average speed: 80.922 mph; Time of Race: 02:01:58.1171; Margin of victory: 1.1843 seconds; Cautions: 7 for 32 laps; Lead changes: 10 among seven drivers. Lap Leaders: Palou 1-28; Power 29-33; O’Ward 34; Palou 35-55; Power 56-64; Palou 65; Rossi 66; Newgarden 67-68; Kirkwood 69; Ericsson 70-76; Palou 77-100.


Click here for the points tally in the race.

Here are the points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:



Engine manufacturers

Pit stop performance

Top 10 in points: Palou 273, Ericsson 222, Newgarden 203, Dixon 194, O’Ward 191, Rossi 176, McLaughlin 175, Power 172, Herta 149, Rosenqvist 148.

Rest of the standings: Grosjean 145, Kirkwood 142, Lundgaard 136, Ilott 116, VeeKay 108, Ferrucci 105, Armstrong 101, Rahal 99, Malukas 91, Daly 88, DeFrancesco 81, Castroneves 80, Harvey 78, Canapino 77, Pagenaud 72, Pedersen 61, Robb 55, Takuma Sato 37, Ed Carpenter 27, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, Tony Kanaan 18, Marco Andretti 13, RC Enerson 5, Katherine Legge 5.

Next race: IndyCar will head to Road America for the Sonsio Grand Prix, which will take place June 18 with coverage starting at 1 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.