Alonso to skip Monaco to race Indy 500
McLaren Honda F1 driver Fernando Alonso of Spain attends a news conference in Baku, Azerbaijan in this June 16, 2016 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]
Mclaren Formula One driver Fernando Alonso will skip this year's Monaco Grand Prix in May to contest the Indianapolis 500.
The double world champion will race for the Honda-powered Andretti Autosport Indy Car team, which will be branded as a Mclaren for the iconic American race.
Mclaren are yet to announce who will replace Alonso at Monaco, but former world champion Jenson Button, retired but still contracted to the team as an ambassador, remains the strongest possibility.
On the back of two uncompetitive seasons at Mclaren and facing a difficult third ahead, Alonso, 35, is said to be looking to achieve the "triple crown", becoming a winner of Monaco, Indy 500, and Le Mans.
British racing legend Graham Hill is the only driver to so far achieve the feat, back in the 1960s.
"I'm immensely excited that I'll be racing in this year's Indy 500, with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport," Alonso said.
"The Indy 500 is one of the most famous races on the global motorsport calendar, rivaled only by the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Monaco Grand Prix.
"It's of course a regret of mine that I won't be able to race at Monaco this year. But Monaco will be the only 2017 Grand Prix I'll be missing, and I'll be back in the cockpit of the McLaren-Honda MCL32 for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in early June," Alonso said.
Mclaren has raced at the Indy 500 in the past, winning in 1974 and 1976.