The two-time Formula 1 champion will enter the race for McLaren, using a Honda engine, under the banner of the Andretti Autosport team. It will be Alonso's first time racing an Indy car or racing on an oval superspeedway, but he'll have from May 15 onward to practice at the track ahead of the race. The Indy 500 will be the only event of the series that he'll compete in this year, and he'll be back in the seat for McLaren at the Canadian Grand Prix on June 11.
"I'm immensely excited that I'll be racing in this year's Indy 500 with McLaren, Honda, and Andretti Autosport," says Alonso. "The Indy 500 is one of the most famous races on the global motorsport calendar, rivaled only by the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Monaco Grand Prix," the latter of which he'll be skipping.
While putting a beloved F1 Champion in a seat at Indy is certainly exciting for everyone involved, fans included, it is also a reminder of McLaren's disappointing start to the F1 season. The team has zero points after two races, and Alonso failed to finish either Grand Prix. McLaren-Honda has yet to say who will race at Monaco in Alonso's place, but the team says it will make that announcement "in due course."