Fernando Alonso opens up on his chances of actually winning Indy 500

Graham Hill

Some of them are happy for me, happy for this thing and curious to see how competitive we can be, some others, they are not happy with anything in life.

"When you're young, you're focused on racing and winning and everything on the track side", Alonso told The Indianapolis Star on Sunday before the Grand Prix of Alabama. McLaren's doing all it can to stop that from happening - but is letting him contest the Indianapolis 500 a sign things are going too far?

A win on the famed Brickyard oval would be sensational but the double world champion will still have to conquer the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race to match the unique Triple Crown achieved by the late Briton Graham Hill in 1972.

Alonso said while it's comforting to know Andretti has been through a process like this before with a rookie - who was famously clueless about Indy cars - Rossi's victory might have given the world the wrong impression about how tough it is to win the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing".

"Even though Monaco is probably the most suitable circuit for McLaren this year, by being in Indy, Fernando is going to come away from that weekend happier than if he was over there in his usual vehicle".

Asked if it would be fun to race against former Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya again, Alonso said with a smile, "I don't know if he will be in the front".

Alonso is scheduled to arrive at Barber Motorsports Park ahead of Sunday's Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

Alonso will test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 3, and will drive a McLaren Honda for Andretti.

NASCAR fan Ricciardo says he would be more inclined to try the Daytona 500 over the Indy 500, but does not have any extracurricular racing on his mind just yet.

To be the most complete driver in the world, Alonso has a lofty goal for Indianapolis: "I need to win it". I think if he is patient enough through the week and builds to it, I think he will be fine. "Hopefully I will learn as quick as I can, I'm watching his onboard because I think he's one of the best out there".

"My thoughts are with JR and his recovery, the most important part of this", Veach said. "It's going to be a lot to take in in a short amount of time, but I'm excited to do the best I can for the team, as well as JR".