It was the appointment marked in red on his calendar, the date of his challenge to history, but Fernando Alonso can not even take the exit on the Indianpolis 500 on Sunday. The performance of the McLaren also frustrated the options in a repechage, postponed for four hours by the rain, where it was slower than three of its five rivals. The last attempt of Kyle Kaiser, in front of the modest Juncos Racing, eyed the Asturian's options.
The work against time, throughout the early hours of Sunday and in the hours leading up to the dramatic repechage, slightly improved the performance of the car 66. "We have been brave, but other teams did a better job." Successes and disappointments only come when you accept the biggest challenges ", admitted Alonso after his four turns, at an average speed of 227.353 miles per hour, slower than James Hinchcliffe. Worse too than Sage Karam. Only Kaiser's last thrust was missing. Just 0.019 mph difference. On Saturday, the deficit against Pippa Mann was 0.020 mph. In that margin, almost imperceptible, everything is handled.
The tremendous blow suffered is the last nail in the coffin of McLaren, a team without direction, which seems to have underestimated the difficulties of a career with 103 years of history. After four decades of absence, Zak Brown opted for a blido built entirely in the factory of Woking and a Chevrolet engine, great dominator of the latest editions. However, the lack of experience of engineers and mechanics has been crucial.
Right now it seems impossible for McLaren to bet on the auction of a seat for Alonso. A usual practice in Indianpolis, but that Brown was responsible for dismissing once the disaster was confirmed. We will return to the 500 Mile, although now we do not want to buy a place, but to win it. We want to get it by our own merits, revealed the McLaren boss.
Right now, Gil de Ferran, his sporting director, also remains in a delicate position. How to explain, for example, that they were surpassed on Saturday by DragonSpeed, a sponsor without sponsor and without experience in the IndyCar, with a driver like Ben Hanley, who had never stepped on a value until two weeks ago.
Carlin, in the bullseye
How to understand that another modest adversary like Juncos is able to recover, in a much shorter time, Kaiser's car after an ugly accident. Or how to detail so many problems of Carlin, your partner in all this adventure, to optimize every detail of the transmission, the suspension and the aerodynamics.
While waiting for some light in this chaos, Alonso's only consolation is that there are also precedents in this type of disaster. The most memorable case occurred in 1995 when Roger Penske, the greatest legend of this race, could not win his place on the grid, despite dominating the previous edition thanks to Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi. In 1993, Bobby Rahal, victim of this fat personBump DayHe could not defend his title either.
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(tagsToTranslate) sports / more-sport (t) 500 Miles of Indianapolis (t) Fernando Alonso (t) McLaren