Formula 1

Fernando Alonso defends his option to race in Indy 500

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Fernando Alonso insists that motor racing can compete with the biggest sports in the world by embracing driver crossovers as he prepares to race in America this weekend.

Alonso, now somewhat of a veteran on the F1 circuit, said this week that he was happy to be increasing the publicity of F1 and North American racing in equal measure.

"For the fans, from what I see now in Spain and Europe, it is amazing the interest in the Indy 500
this year compared to any other year," Alonso said.

"I received many messages from fans in social media saying: 'Thanks for showing us this race because I never watched it before and I absolutely love it.'

"Hopefully from now on the interest in F1 in the U.S. will be growing.

"We have new owners of F1, (U.S.-based) Liberty Media, and I think they have some good plans to build interest here."

Alonso was also pressed on whether victory in Indianapolis this weekend might encourage him to have a go at the Le Mans 24 Hours title as well, an idea he was receptive to but realistic about his prospects.

"The Triple Crown, I think that's the ultimate goal of any racing driver. Only one man has achieved that in motor sports and that shows how difficult it is to do that."

Having qualified in 7th place, Alonso has adapted in remarkable time to his new surroundings and was coy about his future.

With his contract with McLaren-Honda up at the end of the season, he refused to comment on what was next, but staying in F1 seemed to be more likely than a total crossover to the U.S. next season.

"My skills, and my driving techniques are developed in F1 cars. I think when I get back there it will be an immediate adaptation.

"After the summer I will consider what are the options out there," he concluded.

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