McLaren Formula One driver Fernando Alonso will withdraw from the FIA Formula One series with the conclusion of the 2018 season, but a confluence of factors might just see him driving a Chevrolet-powered car in the IndyCar Series in the near future. Alonso completed a test of a Honda-powered Andretti Autosport Dallara DW12 at Barber Motorsports Park earlier in the month, and it’s understood that McLaren is looking to Andretti as a potential partner for its IndyCar ambitions.
For some time now, rumor has had it that Chevrolet is likely to become Andretti Autosport’s new engine supplier starting with the 2019 IndyCar season, as Andretti is thought to be preparing for a partnership with the Chevrolet-powered Harding Racing team. Motorsport news outlet Racer calls the prospect of an Andretti-McLaren outfit using Honda power an “unlikely scenario.”
Although the Dallara chassis that Fernando Alonso drove was powered by Honda, using Chevrolet engines provided through a partnership with Harding could be the workaround that “allow[s] Andretti Autosport to maintain peace with Honda while starting a new venture with McLaren and Chevy,” Racer reports.
Fernando Alonso (37) has contested seventeen full seasons in the FIA Formula One World Championship, pickup championship titles in 2005 and 2006, and helping end Michael Schumacher’s dominance in the sport. After tossing around between Minardi, McLaren, and Renault, Alonso ended up racing for renowned factory team Scuderia Ferrari from 2010 through 2014, before again ending up back with McLaren for the 2015 through 2018 seasons. His departure from Formula One was confirmed last month, following a few seasons fraught with difficulty.
While relatively inexperienced in IndyCar, Fernando Alonso isn’t a total newcomer, having competed in a McLaren-branded Andretti Autosport car in the 2017 Indy 500. He led the race for 27 laps, and was a strong contender to win, but his car’s Honda-built engine broke with 21 laps to go, and he was classified 24th.