Ok, let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way first - last week I did a State of F1 all about what Fernando Alonso should do next. The point of my State of F1’s is to propose a real life F1 problem and then a silly unworkable and totally unbelievable solution. I’m gutted to say that not even I thought he would be off to do the Indy500.
This is a test for Liberty Media - perhaps their first big one. Bernie has said he wouldn’t have let him go and surely if this had happened last year MR E would have meted out some punishment of sorts for DARING to do anything that isn’t F1. In fact the Monaco GP weekend is scheduled where it is precisely to prevent this kind of behaviour.
But we have a new order - an Alonso in an unwinnable car and a great story for F1. How are they going to get the most out of this?
Firstly, the broadcasting rights are all over the shop. In the UK alone we have the Monaco GP on Sky and Channel 4 but the indycar racing is on BT Sport. I honestly don’t know how to fix this - most likely huge amounts of money but the indy500 has to be viewable by everyone who just watched the Monaco GP. Channel4 can link to a special free presented by BT thing, they can make a whole new channel. Anything! This is basically like Live Aid for motorsport. Bob Geldof needs to be swearing on breakfast television in the morning to get this deal made.
How well will he do? Alonso is a fantastic driver, but the indy500 is fucking terrifying. Like shit yourself crazy - its really dangerous, and they won’t want him to come and win and make it look easy and F1 has a habit of showing the world how piss easy indycar is. Nigel Mansell walked the floor with them, they’re not going to want a repeat of that.
Could he get the triple? Only Graham Hill has won the Monaco GP, Le Mans and the Indy500. If alonso doesn’t win at indy when will he have another go? What if the McLaren is good next year?
Button is back, he's not going to do any testing because really why waste a day when he's likely to retire within a couple of laps. It's a shame there couldn't be some kind of indycar exchange Programme but who really would want to pass up the 500 in order to get a terrible car at an unforgiving circuit?
Don't worry, I have a solution
Well it's not a solution this week. It's a debate. A wishlist of what could be. Let me dream
what I really want, and have always wanted is A true cross promotion of the heroes of the various Motorsport classes around the world. Why not have a top Indy driver do a couple of f1 races, an f1 team entering a car for Le Mans? Why can't they get half the field over to Indy next year? Make it an official f1 championship race. Even bring good tyres this time
The race of champions is a great one off if niche sexy neck hurting event. What if the rest of Motorsport could be like this for key races in each series. F1 drivers at the Indy500, indy and LMP drivers at the British Grand Prix? Joyless Palmer being last at a motogp race? Let's make this new world. Give me your fucking drivers!