Huge disappointment as McLaren's Fernando Alonso fails to qualify for Indy 500
- The 37-year-old Spaniard was eliminated by young US driver Kyle Kaiser on the final run of the rain-delayed "Last Row Shootout" qualifying session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
- Alonso had been chasing a victory at the Brickyard in a bid to become only the second driver after Britain's Graham Hill to claim the Triple Crown of motorsport, with wins in the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance and Indy 500
- It’s been a tough week for the team
- Alonso left F1 to focus on winning Indy
It's been a hard start to the year for Spaniard Fernando Alonso who failed to qualify for the Indy 500, after his much anticipated move from F1.
The two-time Formula 1 world champion was fourth fastest of six drivers all aiming for the final three places on the grid. In a statement McLaren said: "The shootout for the final three spots followed a challenging qualifying weekend for the team and resulted in Fernando posting an average speed of 227.353mph which at the time of his run placed him 32nd. Sage Karam then put in a 227.740mph to go fastest in the session and pushed Alonso down to the 'bubble' position in 33rd. Patricio O’Ward was not able to better Fernando’s time but it was then Kyle Kaiser who pushed Fernando out of the field by just 0.019mph."
"A difficult week, no doubts," Alonso said on social media. "We tried our best, even today with a completely different set up and approach, four laps flat on the throttle but we were not fast enough."
A difficult week, no doubts. We tried our best, even today with a completely different set up and approach, 4 laps flat on the throttle but we were not fast enough. It’s never easy to drive around here at 227mph +,… https://t.co/f49ZnnWwqG— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) May 19, 2019
USA Today reports that, "In the aftermath of McLaren Indy and Fernando Alonso's failure to qualifying for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, team president Bob Fernley has been fired."
Soon after Alonso's disappointing weekend, McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran put out a public apology to the fans, the team, the partners and Fernando Alonso after failing to qualify for the Indy 500.
"Sometimes you fail, but we're here fighting." @GdeFerran speaks openly about a disappointing day at the #Indy500.
Hear more from the team ➡️ https://t.co/vsLLUtgODJ #McLaren66 pic.twitter.com/Nqh1vpjMkE— McLaren Indy (@McLarenIndy) May 20, 2019
CEO Zak Brown also issued the following statement on Twitter.
"Incredibly disappointed for the fans, our team, our partners and Fernando that we will not be racing in the 500. It was always going to be a hard road but no excuses-we didn't get the job done. Credit to those that did. The team put their heart and soul into it and I thank them."
Incredibly disappointed for the fans, our team, our partners and Fernando that we will not be racing in the 500. It was always going to be a hard road but no excuses-we didn't get the job done. Credit to those that did. The team put their heart and soul into it and I thank them. https://t.co/ereJ5MG5RC— Zak Brown (@ZBrownCEO) May 20, 2019