Fernando Alonso rules out 2019 season in IndyCar: ‘Was never an option’

IndyCar
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Fernando Alonso has made his decision on racing in the IndyCar Series for the 2019 season – and it’s likely not what many expected.

Alonso, who is retiring from Formula One racing at the end of this season, made it clear at Circuit of the Americas, site of Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix, that he will not be mounting a full-time or even part-time campaign in IndyCar next season.

That’s likely much to the dismay of countless fans, not to mention the IndyCar Series.

“I went there (Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama) and tested an Indy car in September just to know how the cars felt like,” Alonso said in an ESPN.com story. “But there was no hidden agenda, no other plan for the future.

“I’ve read people saying this was a setback for me but it wasn’t, because it was never in my plans to do a full IndyCar season, so nothing changed for me.”

What is certain for 2019 for Alonso is that he will drive for Toyota in the second half of the World Endurance Championship, which ends at Le Mans in June.

As a result, he can’t logistically do a full IndyCar season, but doesn’t rule out the possibility in the future, perhaps 2020 at the earliest.

“My program for next year has been clear for me for many months, but we need to put things together, do a crossover of many plans from different series, different companies and when it will always be settled we’ll make the announcement,” Alonso said. “But doing a full IndyCar season was never an option.

“I’ll want to do some IndyCar in the future but not next year for sure. That would mean doing 17 races, all in America, learning the category and the tracks from zero, so that would require a commitment and determination that was never in my plans.”

That, even though speculation was rampant that Alonso was definitely heading to IndyCar in 2019, with teams such as Andretti Autosport and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing as the anticipated suitors for his talent.

The 2-time F1 champ isn’t totally ruling out a return to the Indy 500, but given his WEC pursuit, it may be difficult for him to devote two full weeks to racing (plus potential additional testing) at Indy again. He led 27 laps in his only prior Indy 500 in 2017 before engine failure with 21 laps to go.

The Spanierd hinted a couple of days ago that he would be back in the 500, but hedged that slightly in his most recent comments.

“Doing a race like we did last year, the Indy 500, is something we’re evaluating now but there’s no decision taken, far from it,” Alonso said.

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Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.