Fernando Alonso will skip the Monaco GP 2017 in order to take part in his first ever Indy 500 race. The race will mark its 101st edition on Sunday May 28, 2017 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Monaco GP will also be taking place that weekend, McLaren-Honda has teamed up with Andretti Autosport to enter 1 car in the famous oval race with Fernando behind the wheel.

The car will feature McLaren’s iconic papaya orange livery with a chassis made by Dallara. This will be the first oval race for the two time F1 champion who has had a rough start in the 2017 season so far. Both Mclaren cars retired during the previous round of Shanghai GP. With Alonso gone for the weekend, chances are Jenson Button will sit in for him, the Brit is currently under contract with McLaren as reserve driver.

Though only entering Indy 500 for the weekend only, Alonso follows the footsteps of Nigel Mansell who is the only driver to have won the F1 World Championship and the CART Indy Car World Series in 1992 and 1993 respectively. He also became the first driver to win the Indy Car World Series championship in his first debut season. Despite trouble with the McLaren-Honda F1 car, Alonso is generally recognized as one of the best drivers in Formula 1, his drive at Indy 500 could easily mark a new era for the Spaniard.

Speaking about his new opportunity, Alonso said, “I’m immensely excited that I’ll be racing in this year’s Indy 500, with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport. The Indy 500 is one of the most famous races on the global motorsport calendar, rivalled only by the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Monaco Grand Prix, and it’s of course a regret of mine that I won’t be able to race at Monaco this year.

“But Monaco will be the only 2017 Grand Prix I’ll be missing, and I’ll be back in the cockpit of the McLaren-Honda MCL32 for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in early June.

“I’ve never raced an IndyCar car before, and neither have I ever driven on a superspeedway, but I’m confident that I’ll get to grips with it fast.”

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