Honda Performance Development Confirms Fernando Alonso IndyCar Test
The announcement comes merely days after the Spaniard confirmed his retirement from F1.
Fernando Alonso has always been a hot commodity in European motorsports, but he's about to become a worldwide phenomenon with IndyCar dying to bring him over to the United States. And although nothing about the two-time world champion's future career plans have been confirmed, Honda just issued a press release that solidified Alonso's participation at an upcoming road course test.
The statement was released by Honda's division responsible for providing IndyCar teams with engines and engineering know-how, Honda Power Development (HPD), and it clarifies that Honda engines are supplied to specific teams with strict contracts in place. The release also mentions that HPD has been running near maximum capacity for most of 2018 in order to provide a top-shelf product, and that discussions with potential new teams are "only ongoing and not confirmed."
You may be wondering what this has to do with Alonso? Well, given the abrupt ending to McLaren and Honda's relationship in Formula 1, it was rumored that Honda was reluctant to do business with McLaren and possibly even Alonso in IndyCar. However, HPD President Art St. Cyr claims that Fernando will test a Honda-powered IndyCar in the near future, although he doesn't mention where, when, or with whom?
“Fernando Alonso is one of the premier racing drivers of this generation, and we very much enjoyed working with him at the 2017 Indianapolis 500," said Cyr. "He has shown that he can be very competitive right off the bat, and it would be great for IndyCar if he were to decide to drive here full-time after his F1 career. Having Alonso as a driver would be an obvious benefit for any team or manufacturer."
"Our engine lease agreements are made between HPD and specific teams," he added. "Several of our current IndyCar Series teams already have agreements in place with HPD for the 2019 season, and we have been operating near maximum capacity all year long to properly provide powerful, reliable engines for all of our teams."
According to Racer, Alonso will test a Honda Andretti Autosport racer at Barber Motorsports Park Sep. 5. We've reached out to Honda for confirmation but we've yet to hear back.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, it was confirmed that Carlos Sainz Jr. will replace his fellow countryman, Alonso, at McLaren Renault during the 2019 racing season.