AUSTIN, Texas — Fernando Alonso hinted that he could return to race the Indianapolis 500 again in 2019 after he retires from Formula One.
The McLaren driver raced at Indianapolis in 2017. He led 27 laps and was in contention to win until his engine failed in an appearance that made a splash with race fans. He skipped the race this year to be part of the winning team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The two-time Formula One champion spoke Thursday ahead of this weekend’s U.S. Grand Prix. He said racing Indianapolis remained an “attractive” idea but said he’s not ready to reveal his 2019 plans yet.
Alonso said any driver from a different series who would consider racing the Indy 500 would have a lot to think about. Testing the car on an oval track wore him out physically, he said.
“They need to commit to the race,” Alonso said. “I think if they just want to do a test they will never do the race after testing the car, because it feels quite bad. The car is self-steering to the left, you go on the straights and you are turning right and it feels very weird to drive the car.
“But then in the race it is just a different thing. You wake up your competitive instinct and you forget about all these weird things that those cars have and it’s a lot of fun. It’s part of history,” Alonso said.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo suggested he’d rather watch Alonso.
“Ovals creep me out a little bit. I won’t lie,” Ricciardo said. “It was cool watching Fernando do it.”