Honda vetoes Alonso/Andretti Indy 500 deal

Some Honda executive finally got to play out his slow-burn revenge and is smiling his heart out right now.
Well, I wonder where this goes from here. You're only hopes to win the 500 in a Chevy are with Penske or ECR. Ed's not going to, and Roger's definitely not going to.
Even putting aside the fact that his past comments about Honda were rather insulting, there's also the fact that he's actively racing for Toyota in other disciplines.
ECR, who knows. But usually the 3rd Indy 500 seat is reserved for Ed's road course driver, so that could become a problem for Alonso.
And with Penske I agree. Only way I see Alonso at Penske is if Alonso does full-time Indycar and impresses enough to earn himself a seat at Penske. And Alonso doesn't want to do full-time so, that's practically ruled out
Penske now owns the series and the Speedway. He will find a way to get him in the race with a chance to win if he’s as smart as we all think he is. But yes Honda got revenge.
I mean everyone's assuming that this is because of the GP2 engine comments, but really... Alonso is a factory Toyota driver, isn't this a much more likely to shut this deal down ? Like, if Hamilton wanted to run a DTM race with Audi or BMW, surely Mercedes would say no and no one would bat an eye ?
Some? You mean the whole Board Of Directors?
Why on earth do you waste all of your time and effort putting together a deal if HPD didn’t already have Honda HQ’s approval?
Why wasn’t that one of the first steps?
Other than with Sato it was most likely a formality in asking Honda for its blessing.
Honda HQ probably strung HPD and Alonso along just to spite Alonso.
Unfortunately corporate bureaucracy and working across cultures is rarely that simple. Throw in dealing with executives/high level employees and here we are.
Never mind the possibility that someone at Honda Japan may have waited to shut this down out of (arguably deserved) spite
Edit: I do hate that Andretti (and the series to some degree) suffer for Alonso’s indiscretions though
They probably did, and it took this long to get an answer. Japan corporate structure is deep.
Alonso to juncos
I know this is a joke post, but this could be the best possible outcome. Remember, last year they made the grid with a driver that isn't top of anybody's list, in a backup car that was set up completely wrong, down to the gearing still being set for a road course; imagine what they could do with a driver of Alonso's caliber at the wheel. Plus, the biggest Spanish motorsports star (outside of MotoGP) driving for an Argentinian team would be a massive boost for IndyCar in the spanish-speaking world.
It's about the only place left for him.
GP2 career management
GP2 luck
For what it's worth, I hope Hinch gets the ride and in a competitive car. Either him or Bourdais
God, I'd love to see Bourdais in an Andretti car. He's been really strong at Indy in the Coyne cars, I'd love to see what he can do in one of the best cars on the grid.
This stinks because it sounded like Alonso was also going to do a few additional races which would have been good for the series. They need as much exposure as they can get at those non 500 races.
People here don’t like you Alonso, but he’s a good driver who brings in fans from across the pond. He’d be good for this series and anyone who says he wouldn’t is wrong. Even if it’s just indy or a handful of races, he’d be a welcome addition any time in my book
I was gonna be like lol but it said that he was going to do some of the road courses after Indy and I would've loved to see that.
No Honda, McLaren ambassadorship done, Ed's full, Penske probably can't/doesn't want to afford him after buying the speedway... Carlin-Carlin time. RIP
His options right now are basically Carlin, Foyt, maybe a return to McLaren or throwing money at a part time team which at that point he might as well just bring FART to Indycar, though if he were to do that then he would be forced to give a damn about the entire season.
ECR might not be as full as you think. Chevy has shown in the past that they can supply extra engines if needed. I’m sure if Alonso brought enough sponsorship, Ed would be more than willing to put up a fourth car for him.
I thought a deal was closer after Alonso commenting the past days he regretted his "GP2 engine"-like comments about Honda, saying that he was frustrated with the poor performance that the Honda engine had in those years in F1.
According to some news I've seen in the Spanish sports newspaper, they say that Andretti may look to have an agreement for a Chevy-powered car for Alonso (something I don't see so possible) or look for another team with Chevrolet engines.
I hope he has an entry with Andretti technical support (something like Harding Racing two years ago)
I feel like Honda Japan is going to do everything they can to prevent Alonso from driving for a team linked to Honda in any way.
Luckily for them, Penske is already out of the question, though they'd probably care less about him driving for Penske in Indycar than an Andretti-backed Chevy team.
So there's a possible seat at Andretti as yet unfulfilled? Hinch has a sponsor. I wonder if they're over their past squabbles?
Hinch is going to Rahal.
I've always been under the impression that Hinch left Michael on good terms. They lost the sponsor on the car, they couldn't get one in time, and Hinch left for SP because they had a paying seat for him. Given how much time Hinch spends with the Andretti family - and that he was in a Walkinshaw Andretti United car for that Supercar race - not sure how much animus Andretti has for him? Plus BFF with Rossi ...
Who could ever have predicted it?
This is so disappointing. I hope he can find something for May :/
I get why Honda would not want to work with Alonso in any form. But as a fan that just wants to watch the best possible 500, this really sucks.
I don't blame Honda for making this decision. I completely understand why they would never want to work with him again.
But I also hate it. It's weird to feel both of these things together.
I blame Andretti for not clearing it with Honda first.
Well that's one massive egg on my face. I bought into the narrative that Honda had no beef with Alonso personally and that a deal was imminent this week, proving that his "bridge burning" reputation was nonsense. If this story turns out to be accurate, and there's little reason to suggest it isn't, then I'll have to do a 180° and agree with the haters on this one.
Sucks for Alonso, sucks for Andretti and sucks for IndyCar. As an F1 fanatic, fully in tune with the fan community, I know for a fact that thousands of curious fans will not watch the Indy 500 without a big name F1 driver in it. But the Honda execs will have the last laugh after all.
While this might make Honda feel all warm and fuzzy, it’s hurting the series. Remember all of those people who tuned in to YouTube on a weekday morning just to watch FA test an Indycar?
Now that Penske is in charge maybe he can figure something out because we need more eyes on INDYCAR.
Is it still as likely to be as much of a draw of eyes? He's been out of F1 for a bit, he's already "bin there dun that" at Indy. Maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal ...
The Japanese have long memories and do not take disrespect lightly. Honestly I don’t blame them one bit for not wanting Alonso associated with them.
This isn't exclusive to the japanese. If a driver trashes the car in a home grand prix and then proceeds to drive for the rival company any team would be pissed.
Time for Penske to pick up a phone.
Yeah, that's honestly kinda how I see it
Really bad form and I dare to say childish behaviour by Honda. Alonso's comments were years ago, and honestly quite justified as well and they are seeming still not over it...sad.
At this point, I think it has less to do with the comments and more to do with the fact Alonso has been a Toyota factory driver for the last 3 years. Honda and Toyota wouldn't be caught dead associating with their competitor.
I agree completely. The whole Honda/Alonso thing has been amusing, but now it’s embarrassing. For Honda. Their engines were junk when Alonso was using them, even if the car also wasn’t as good as McLaren claimed it was. If management can’t deal with accurate criticism, then why should that give anyone confidence in the company?
This is also a slap in the face to Andretti and HPD, who are a major Honda partner and the company’s own American division, respectively. That’s just complete bullshit by Honda.
You don't know the Japanese. They have a society built on honor and respect. Avoiding embarrassment is very important to them. It's as if Alonso knew this and pushed all the buttons to piss them off. They won't forgive him anytime soon IMHO
Nah. I think Alonso needs to be taught a lesson and that lesson is that you should think about what you're going to say before you say it. Honda has acted big before even to Indycar and has gotten its way. Why not show one of the most popular drivers in the world that they're not going to bow down to his demands just because who he is.
they're doing just fine with RB and VER and they are rolling over championships in MotoGP.
the only sad party here is FA.
Another world champion raced at Mclaren Honda at their worst, and somehow Honda even agreed to keep paying him after he retired. Wonder why?
Alonso deserves this. Glad Honda rejected this. He’s already with Toyota and bad trashed talked in his first year in with honda.
Let him go win races with Toyota when they have no competition.
I just climaxed from schadenfreude
Alonso could get a degree in burning bridges holy shit. I’m not even mad he’s had this coming for a long time
How fucking painful for Hinch. SPM says he has a seat, but has to cut ties with Honda. Mclaren cuts his ass, and now a Honda seat is available at Andretti AND he has funding.
So yeah, all those stories of Honda being fine with Alonso but against McLaren seem to have been pure fabrications.
I got downvoted so much for saying Honda didn't want Alonso in their Indycar everytime time Alonso to Andretti came up.
Cool. What's Hinchcliffe up to?
Asking for a friend.
Honda: Look Fred, it's a ride for the 500!
Alonso: Where!?
Can't say I blame them. Fernando was horrible to them at McLaren between parking the car when he wasn't in the points or the "GP2 engine" shit. Having ties to Toyota doesn't help. Fernando has always been his biggest enemy.
And Honda wasn't horrible for overcomitting to McLaren during 2015-2017? The only reason Red Bull is happy is because the engine is now at a point where it can perform, 3-4 years after it was supposed to perform for McLaren. Honda knew they wouldn't be competitive in 2015 but they didn't even build a solid upgrade plan through those years. 2016 was a minimal improvement and then 2017 was shitting the bed all over again because they realized their layout was all wrong in 2016.
Then you have Alonso's first try at Indy where his engine blows up while in legitimate contention for a win (and many engine issues for other drivers that season to be honest).
When you are a technical partner you just have to deliver. Honda didn't.
Honda have their redemption now with Verstappen's wins and Toro Rosso podiums in F1, as well as Sato's Indy 500 win in 2017 (and of course other wins in IndyCar GPs but I'm mainly covering the large events here). It's good to see them doing well, but clearly they never met their promises during those years with Alonso and that's a fact. To me this Andretti opportunity would have been a nice clean up of the mess they made back then together with McLaren.
My guess is Fred Alonso will probably not be in the race .
Penske and Andretti driver swap with Helio driving for Andretti and Alonso driving for Penske in the 500?
Such a big difference between the two subs. Here you guys are mostly saying how it’ll be better for the sport if he drove and
That place is very bipolar when it comes to certain drivers.
LMFAO @ everyone cheering this on. Thank God Penske bought the series and not Lotus or else we'd all be having a great time "learning a lesson" while they shuttered the whole fucking thing out of spite because they're embarrassed they failed on tv and got called on it.
What a humiliating performance from Honda. From parading Senna's ghost around in the lead up to that partnership to their total failure in being able to even complete a race let alone compete to win to jumping into Red Bull's arms while Red Bull blows up their partnership with Renault in similar fashion and now to being petty like this.
LOL, what a disaster for them. They better thank god for Adrian Newey and Max Verstappen or else they'd be leaving F1 in shame and no one would even be talking about Alonso.
You're being down voted, but you're spot on.
Hate boners tend to cloud judgement.
My prediction is either he will go back to McLaren for the 500 (if Zak lets him), or he will just skip this year and get an early start on begging Roger for a seat.
Beg Roger, beg Carpenter, at this point do anything you can
I don’t know the whole behind the scenes story here. I do know that all the stories pointed to an Andretti/Alonso partnership for the 500 with slight chance of some other races. It does seem somewhere along the line that this partnership was getting the go ahead by Honda only to get a last minute veto.
Yeah we know the whole Alonso/McLaren/Honda soap opera so obviously this is just the next chapter. Still I think at this point it’s a bad look for Honda. They’ve got to be overjoyed with the success they had in F1 last year. They are preparing for their third season since the split between them and McLaren. Alonso isn’t even at McLaren anymore and they both experienced a lot of embarrassment at last years race.
Alonso racing in the 500 is huge for the series even if the novelty has worn off a little. After all he’s only raced once and a blown Honda engine ended his race in a competitive car.
So now with everyone moving on to greener pastures, it’s time for Honda to drop its beef with Alonso. I know lots of fans are smiling at this misfortune for Alonso. I think Honda looks petty here denying their biggest team in Indycar another chance to work with an all time great driver.
This pisses me off, Honda Japan’s burning desire to spite a driver even if it hurts a series they actively compete in blows my mind. He likely could have won them another BorgWarner Trophy but apparently being spiteful pricks is more important to Honda Japan. SMH
Lol I’m sure they are just fine having Rossi lead that effort.
Fernando's close linkes to toyota don't help either. No toyota drivers are driving with honda power in indycar.
They’ll be fine without him. He needs to learn to mange his professional relationships better, being a good driver will only get you so far.
he will go with Penske in 2021 after Roger gently tells Helio to hang them up.
Penske doesn’t like part-timers, nor does he like an extra car for them. He’s let JPM and Helio do it, but they’ve already built a resume driving for Roger
I would laugh so hard if Penske's own Honda connection for his IMSA team keeps this from happening.
So Honda basically set Alonso up for this with their claims their issues were with McLaren not him etc etc.....
And then waited till the 11th hour to pull the rug out from underneath him....great company there....
No. It's more like HPD ran around promising shit before asking for permission.
Honda never said it was OK. HPD said it was. Honda has rule over HPD.
I never understood how that became a story, Alonso was much worse PR wise to Honda than McLaren, regardless of what McLaren executives may have said at the time.
I am so happy and proud of Honda right now.
Why? They look completely ridiculous.
Alonso put himself into this situation with his own attitude. Reminds me of what Bobby Unser said about his brother Al's 1987 500 victory. Penske dropped him at the start of the season, and instead of bad-mouthing him, Al just kept visiting the Penske garage during practice, offering to help. And when the need arose, Al got the call. Total opposite.
If Fred was more of a team player, or heck if he'd just kept his mouth shut, Honda Japan would probably have been actively promoting his 500 return
Well, it’s disappointing as a fan, but Alonso burned this bridge with Honda so it’s his own fault.
It is rather surprising it got to this point though. I would have thought Honda would have made it known early to Andretti this idea was a non-starter.
I would be curious if Carpenter's team could be an option. They have already said that they could run a fourth car for Kyle Busch.
Honda and their petty bullshit lol, so stupid. If they’re gonna pull that crap they should just join Toyota and go to NASCAR.
Son of a fucking bitch. Now he’s gonna have to take another shitty ride again because they’re still petty over 2015
Very disappointed, I was hoping to see him in a competitive ride. At this point he should focus on 2021 Indy because he’s up shit creek for this year
Sure you do your utmost to piss somebody off, but when get get pissed off then they are petty.
Penske is already running 4 cars (Newgarden, Power, Pagenaud and Castroneves). Their previously stated maximum. Not sure about Carpenter’s situation.
Corporate bullshit strikes again. Let a racer race
This is so petty but he’s a Toyota driver and said shit about them just annoying they waited months to say no. Definitely on purpose.
If you think this is a bad thing you’re wrong. This is GREAT for Alonso’s overall story. This forces him to EARN the triple crown.
If you win the Indy 500 in your second ever oval race I don’t care how you’ve done it or who you’re driving for, you’ve earned it.
TIL an Andretti ride is an instant Indy 500 win
LOL, I like your style!
You mean he is going to go back and win a LeMans overall when he has competition?
Like hes earned anything...