IndyCar Not Actively Recruiting F1 Talent Despite Alonso Boon
Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso’s decision to skip this year’s Monaco Grand Prix to race in the Indy 500 shocked the motorsports world and likely gave a few other F1 drivers dreams of Indy glory. But IndyCar chief Mark Miles says the series isn’t actively looking to recruit F1 talent.
“I don’t think it’s a strategy for us,” said Miles speaking to Reuters. ”I think [Alonso’s decision to compete] was a unique set of circumstances in so many respects so we’re not going to be following the grand prix series around trying to poach drivers.”
He added that he believes more F1 drivers will pay closer attention to IndyCar now, but he’s waiting to see how things develop. “There may be points in their careers where we make some sense,” he said.
The Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix have fallen on the same day in the past few years, blocking many drivers from achieving the coveted “Triple Crown” of motorsport, which includes winning the Monaco Grand Prix (and/or an F1 driver’s championship), the Indy 500, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. If Alonso wins at Indy he’ll be a Le Mans win away from being only the second Triple Crown winner in history after golden-age F1 great Graham Hill.
There’s no doubt that Alonso’s temporary move to IndyCar has drawn attention to both himself and the American open-wheel series. Miles says following the announcement of Alonso’s decision to compete at Indy, IndyCar held press conferences in Europe where it is not as widely known. Similarly, Alonso’s profile has been raised among American racing fans who may have been less familiar with F1. Alonso’s Indy 500 live practice session is currently the most watched video on IndyCar’s YouTube channel.
“It’s really about the attention and it’s clear just from looking at the audience for the test this week and streaming that it’s quite exciting around the world,” said Miles.
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