Indy 500: Alonso so close but Sato clinches it


Well, what a race. It was certainly heartbreaking stuff at Indianapolis when Fernando Alonso retired from the race on lap 179 out of 200, and having led the race for 27 laps. Former Jordan FI driver Takuma Sato – who raced in F1 between 2002 and 2008 before switching to the American series – clinched the win, edging out three-time victor Helio Castroneves in an exciting conclusion.

Fellow former F1 driver Max Chilton of Britain also had a superb race, leading for several laps before coming home in an eventual fourth place. Dubai-born British driver Ed Jones took an impressive third place on his Indy 500 debut.

Said Alonso: “Obviously it’s disappointing not to finish the race because every race you compete, you want to be at the chequered flag. But today that was not possible.

“The last two weeks have been a great experience. I came here basically to prove myself and to challenge myself. I know that I can be as quick as anyone in an F1 car. I didn’t know if I can be as quick as anyone in an IndyCar.

“It was nice to have this competitive feeling – even leading the Indy 500. I was passing, watching the tower, and saw the 29 on top of it. I was thinking at that moment if Zak or someone from the team was taking a picture, because I want that picture at home!

“Thanks to IndyCar, thanks to Indianapolis, and thanks to the fans. I felt at home. I’m not American, but I felt really proud to race here.

“Finally, congratulations to Sato San and to Andretti. We have been sharing the last two weeks and Takuma was a lot of help, in coming from F1. I’m extremely happy for the final result.”

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