|McLaren's latest Indy entry...until this year (Photo: McLaren)|
Fernando Alonso is running the Indy 500. Sorry Nico Rosberg, your absence on the grid is no longer the biggest shocker of the season. Ironically, Alonso will be driving another McLaren-Honda. The team will get support from IndyCar powerhouse Andretti Autosport, however, so expect them to be competitive. If Manor F1 refugee Alexander Rossi can win the race as a rookie, who's to say a double world champion can't do the same?
On that note, Jenna Fryer owes Alonso a major apology for this column, entitled, "So What that Alonso is Racing in the Indy 500?" Well, Jenna, maybe it's because the F1 season for McLaren is lost, so what do they have to lose? Also, the reason he hasn't scored any points with McLaren this season has been because, well, to put it lightly, his car is terrible. Seriously, Alonso hasn't even finished a race yet! And do you really think Tony Stewart or Danica Patrick would have provided more buzz? Maybe in the States alone, sure, but now the whole world will be watching to see what Alonso to do. I have to give you props, though. When you make Mario Andretti livid, you've accomplished something.
Sauber look to be headed to Honda engines in 2018. That's cool for Honda, I guess, but I'm not so sure about Sauber. I'm sure there's some behind-the-scenes financial reasoning that makes this deal make sense, but McLaren have been so dreadful this year that their $40 million driver has decided to skip their biggest race of the year to go run, well, another biggest race of the year. I'm not convinced that McLaren chassis is all that great either, but Honda still has a lot of work to do as an engine supplier...
Finally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is retiring after this season. It honestly makes sense, given his expiring contract, but also his health concerns the past few seasons. Personally, my early pick for his replacement is Alex Bowman, but I've been wrong before, so we'll see what Hendrick does.