IndyCar all hyped up over Alonso

Alonso has IndyCar's panties in a knot
Alonso has IndyCar's panties in a knot

Fernando Alonso-mania is washing through Indycar again as speculation runs rife, amid calls for calm, with regards to the Spaniard’s future plans for the American series in the wake of announcing that 2018 will be his final year in Formula 1.

The spotlight has been welcomed by Indycar stakeholders who reveled in the first bout of Alonso-mania last year at the Indy 500.

The reignited interest is amusing to some of the drivers who are nevertheless united in their opinion that the double F1 world champion in Indycar is packed with positives and huge potential for all concerned.

Spencer Pigot of Ed Carpenter Racing told Autoweek, “It’s been a topic of conversation among the drivers the last few days, with his teaser video about the announcement he was going to make, followed by the announcement he was going to retire from Formula 1 at the end of the year. There have been rumors going around the internet."

“I don’t know more than anyone else, but for sure, we as drivers talk about that. I think it would be cool if he were in IndyCar. We’ll see. I think he has lots of options and if he were to come race with us over here, I think that would be great."

“It would be a huge positive for the series if he came over as well as everyone else in the championship as well, the teams, drivers and sponsors," added Pigot.

Conor Daly, who is a part-time IndyCar driver whose father Derek raced in Formula 1, finds the renewed hype amusing, “We sort of laugh at how much social media activity there is. There are people over anticipating everything."

“Yo’ guys, just chill. Yes, he’s retiring from Formula 1, but we still don’t know what is going on. Yes, it would be awesome if Fernando were in an IndyCar. I’m a big fan. All of us as drivers would appreciate that."

“We know our series is strong and if we added a talent like Fernando Alonso, that would be awesome. I think it’s a great opportunity for the series, but we have to be careful about over saturating the internet with pure Fernando activity."

“Obviously, people love it, but it can get a little overboard. At some point, we have to look at reality and hopefully, he will be a participant in IndyCar and we can all do battle against each other," added Daly.

Simon Pagenaud, the 2016 IndyCar champion who is currently seventh in the 2018 standings, would welcome the 37-year-old, “If Fernando comes here, it’d be awesome. He would be the kind of guy who’d be fantastic for the sport. It’d be like it was with Nigel Mansell."

Many are likening Alonso’s possible foray to the one undertaken by Mansell – F1 world champion at the time – in 1993/1994 which boosted Champ Car thanks to the Red-5 presence on the grid. Alonso could galvanize this generation of IndyCar with his participation.

Former Indycar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay was one of the first to openly woe Alonso after his announcement earlier this week, “I think he would be a great addition to IndyCar and I think he would have a lot of fun here. That would be great. I’ve been saying it for a while, this series is the most competitive series in the world, no doubt."

“You cannot name who is going to win each race. There are no favorites. There’s a long list of winners even from this year. You have a really tight championship."

“It would be appealing to me, if I were him. I spent time with him as his teammate. He’s as hungry as ever to win. I think IndyCar is a great spot. IndyCar stock continues to rise for that reason," added Hunter-Reay.

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