McLaren and Alonso will not race in the 2019 Indy 500
McLaren Racing and Fernando Alonso will not progress to the 2019 Indianapolis 500, after failing to qualify, following the Last Row Shootout at the weekend.
The shootout for the final three spots followed a challenging qualifying weekend for the team and resulted in Fernando posting an average speed of 227.353mph which at the time of his run placed him 32nd.
Sage Karam then put in a 227.740mph to go fastest in the session and pushed Alonso down to the ‘bubble’ position in 33rd. Patricio O’Ward was not able to better Fernando’s time but it was then Kyle Kaiser who pushed Fernando out of the field by just 0.019mph.
Alonso, commented: “It has been a very long qualifying, nearly 56 hours from yesterday morning. Yesterday, we were 31st instead of 30th. Today, 34th instead of 33rd by a very small margin, and unfortunately, we were not fast enough on both days. I’m disappointed now, obviously it would be nice to be in the race next Sunday.
“I want to thank the team for all the efforts, we kept pushing. We came here to race and to challenge ourselves and we were not quick enough. I congratulate all the other guys that did a better job, and hopefully, we’ll see a nice show next Sunday, with everyone safe. I will be enjoying from the TV, unfortunately.”
A difficult week, no doubts. We tried our best, even today with a completely different set up and approach, 4 laps flat on the throttle but we were not fast enough. It’s never easy to drive around here at 227mph +,… https://t.co/f49ZnnWwqG
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) May 19, 2019
Gil DE Ferran, Sporting Director, said: “This has been a very emotional and difficult experience, not only for me but for the whole team. I want to take this opportunity to apologise and thank the fans, not only here in the U.S. but globally, who have been following our progress. I want to thank our team: the guys been have been working for several months, and particularly this last month or so have put in a tremendous effort and worked all the hours in the day.
“This is a very difficult sport. We certainly didn’t underestimate it. We knew this was going to be a tremendously hard challenge. I’ve been here before. I’ve seen some incredible people not make the race. So we were certainly very aware of how difficult this was going to be.
“I want to apologise and thank our partners who have been fantastic, and incredibly supportive through this journey. I thank also the whole IndyCar community, who welcomed us with open arms. All the way from the officials, safety people, all the other teams, everyone in and around INDYCAR, it was nothing but a warm feeling and a lot of support.
“I think last but not least, I want to thank Fernando. We didn’t give him a car that was fast enough but he drove like the champion we know he is, particularly these last three days. It has been incredibly tense and very difficult, and we couldn’t have asked anything more from him.
“In my 35 years of racing, this is the most painful experience I’ve ever had but we are racers. We respect this place and it is one of the toughest challenges in racing. This experience will only make us stronger as a team, and we want to come back.”
McLaren CEO also tweeted his disappointment.
Incredibly disappointed for the fans, our team, our partners and Fernando that we will not be racing in the 500. It was always going to be a hard road but no excuses-we didn’t get the job done. Credit to those that did. The team put their heart and soul into it and I thank them. https://t.co/ereJ5MG5RC
— Zak Brown (@ZBrownCEO) May 20, 2019