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APRIL 13, 2017

Indy 500 not step away from F1 says Alonso

Fernando Alonso insists his decision to skip next month's prestigious Monaco grand prix does not indicate his commitment to F1 is flagging.

"No, it (Indy) is a single race," said the Spaniard, after he and McLaren-Honda shocked the racing world on Wednesday by announcing they will contest the Indy 500 next month.

The dates of the Indy 500 and Monaco clash, and McLaren executive Zak Brown smiled: "Unfortunately it is not possible to have one driver at two separate events."

Others interpret Alonso's move as a clear step away from F1, particularly with his three-year McLaren-Honda contract coming to an end this year.

"Will this influence my renewal? No," he is quoted by El Mundo Deportivo.

"Nor does it bring me closer to McLaren or away from F1. It's not the feeling I have," said Alonso.

Indeed, he said his commitment to F1 remains high, with his target to "prove that I am the best and that I prepared myself better than ever".

"I have been ultra-competitive with the level that we currently have in the first two races. This (the Indy 500) is a champions final, a gift, an opportunity and we have to take advantage of it," Alonso explained.

"But my main objective is to fight for the third world championship. Without a doubt. F1 is my life and it's what I'm going to continue to do.

"All my skills have been developed around F1, and I cannot expect that overnight I will be better than a driver of another category.

"I do not have the frustration that maybe you can feel from the outside. I would like to win, of course, but it is not the frustration that maybe someone else would feel," Alonso added.