Fernando Alonso says there are two paths to motor racing greatness; eight F1 World titles or winning in different series – he’s trying for the latter.
Earlier this week it was announced that Alonso would race in this year’s 101st Indianapolis 500 with the Spaniard sitting out the Monaco Grand Prix to do so.
It is, Alonso has already stated, part of his quest to win motor racing’s Triple Crown; Monaco GP, Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours.
And that, he says, is the only way he’s going to show the world that he’s the best.
“It is something that is not very common,” he said of his decision to race in the Indy 500.
“In the past it was about the best drivers in the world, best cars, best races.
“Then it became more and more professional and everyone was dedicated to just one series.
“This year the possibility was there for us.
“If I want to be the best driver in the world I can either win eight F1 World titles, one more than Michael, which is impossible.
“Or I can win different races in different series in moments in my career and be a driver that can race and win in any car in any series.”
The double F1 Champ has yet to lay out of a course of action to adapt to Indy Cars other than visiting Andretti Autosport in Alabama next weekend. His seat fitting is has been scheduled for the Monday after.
“There is not a defined plan, still ongoing so I cannot answer,” he said in Thursday’s driver briefing in Bahrain.
“At the moment I’ll be next weekend in Alabama meeting the team and on the Monday I’ll do the seat fitting.
“After Russia I’ll do simulator for a few days.
“I’ll try to learn as quick as I can, to adapt to the car the circuit, the ways of racing.
“Many things I have to learn but I’m not ready at the moment but in the next couple of weeks I’ll adapt.
“I’m not afraid of trying, of not delivering a good result.
“But if I want to win one day the Triple Crown I have to make this step and this year was the best opportunity.”
The Triple Crown has already been claimed by one other person, Graham Hill.
Asked what he could do after winning it to set himself apart from the Brit, Alonso replied with a smile: “I don’t know that is thinking too much ahead. I’m a go-kart World Champion, I don’t know if the other guy was.”
Sitting out Monaco means McLaren-Honda are now searching for a replacement driver.
But while Lewis Hamilton would like old team-mate Jenson Button back in the car, Alonso doesn’t have a preference.
“I don’t know, I have no idea what the team is thinking at the moment,” he said. “I don’t have any preference either.
“Whoever will be in the car will be great because the team will make the best decision possible.
“Also Stoffel [Vandoorne] will put the car where he needs to put it with more races and testing here next week we’ll get up to speed as soon as possible.
“It will be a good weekend for the team in Monaco for sure.”