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.
MORE: McLaren won’t run IndyCar team in 2019, but could still do Indy 500.
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.”
Overshadowed by a horrific crash involving Sophia Floersch was the fact that 19-year-old Dan Ticktum dominated and won the Macau Grand Prix – a victory that puts him closer to earning the superlicence required to allow him to race with Formula 1, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Ticktum won Macau’s qualification race as well as the Grand Prix, starting first in both events. For his victories, he earned 10 points, which combined with 25 for his runner-up finish in the European F3 Championship leaves him just five below the 40 needed for the license.
This was Ticktum’s second Macau Grand Prix victory.
“It was a dominant performance that I was preparing for,” Ticktum said on his web site. “I don’t think I’ve ever prepared as hard as I did for this race and it all worked out. In the final race a lot of variables were thrown at me but I handled them.”
On his way to victory lane, Ticktum had to survive several restarts including the lengthy red flag period following Floersch’s accident to repair the barrier.
“I can’t count how many safety car restarts we had to do,” Ticktum said. “It puts a lot of pressure on a driver here with such a long run down to the first corner. I can’t remember a weekend when I’ve put it all together so well.
“The car was absolutely perfect all weekend, it was so good and I can’t thank Motopark enough for that. I’ve never been so involved in the set-up, felt so at one with the car as I did this weekend.”