April 12 (Reuters) - McLaren driver Fernando Alonso will miss the Monaco Grand Prix in May in order to race in the Indianapolis 500, his team said on Wednesday.
McLaren is returning to the Indy 500 after an absence of 38 years and will enter a single car in the race.
“Since the Indianapolis 500 will take place on May 28th, the same day as the Monaco Grand Prix, Fernando will not race at Monaco this year,” McLaren said in a statement.
Alonso is out of contract with McLaren at the end of the season and the Formula One team’s troubled start to the campaign has prompted speculation about whether the Spaniard would see out the year.
The double world champion and McLaren endured a frustrating season opening race in Australia, following on from pre-season testing marred by a lack of power and reliability from their Honda engines.
Alonso’s hopes of scoring his first points of the season in last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix at the weekend were dashed by a driveshaft failure.
“I‘m immensely excited that I’ll be racing in this year’s Indy 500, with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport,” Alonso said in a statement.
“The Indy 500 is one of the most famous races on the global motorsport calendar, rivalled 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.” (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru)