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Alonso pays emotional tribute following Indy 500 adventure

NEWS STORY
31/05/2017

While some have questioned giving Fernando Alonso the prestigious 'Rookie of the Year' award, pointing out that usually the recipient has to finish the race, surely nobody will question the fact that his presence gave the race (and series) a major boost.

Though the history books will show him as retiring following - surprise, surprise - a Honda engine failure, America has taken the Spaniard to its heart with the way he met the Indy 500 challenge and came tantalisingly close to pulling it off.

Speaking at Monday's awards ceremony, the Spaniard, who is not normally known for his speechmaking skills, further won over fans with his emotional acceptance address.

"I thought I should write some notes as this is probably one or two in a life time speech as I wanted to get it right!" he began.

"It has been an incredible, intense few weeks since we decided we will take part in the Indy 500 and I have enjoyed every second of it.

"Maybe not that much when my car stopped, but at least it was clear on which side I had to park the car as my steering wheel has been turning left for the last three weeks, so it was clear at least on that way.

"I have always believed that a complete driver should prove himself in a different series of motor sport and this is one of the reasons why I came here.

"We entered this race also with the aim of linking two different worlds of motor sport and I believe we have achieved this.

"In spite of Tony Kanaan's several warnings, I'm glad I can say I have made it nearly unscratched through the whole month of May, it's the first time I do so many activities off track, so many photos, so many autographs, we even flew to another city in the middle of the event, for you guys this is normal, but trust me it's not normal.

"Then, you want to focus and concentrate on the race so you come to the grid and hardly can find your car, so finally you jump in the car and you think that you are finally alone and concentrated but you have two spotters who tell you how to drive inside, outside.

"It has been a privilege and an honour to take part in this iconic race and I want to thank everyone who has made this possible.

"Thanks to McLaren-Honda and Andretti who gave me this great chance, Michael thanks for welcoming me so warmly, everyone at Andretti Autosport has made me feel at home and I can say I have found a new family here, what a team.

"Thanks to Zak Brown and everyone at McLaren and Honda for the great effort and energy you have put into this project. Thanks to all my team-mates, Ryan, Marco, Alex, Jack and Taku, who have looked after me and given me all sorts of tips.

"Taku of course, congratulations for winning this one but the next time, I want your engine! And you are my favourite Japanese driver in IndyCar!

"Thank you all the drivers, I'm so glad I have found some great people and friends on this side of the Atlantic.

"You guys are so talented, I watched so many, many videos on Youtube before coming here and racing these two weeks together I learned so much from each one of you, that has made me a better driver today, not only in oval racing, so thank you guys.

"Thanks to Gil de Ferran, 'obrigado' my friend, my brilliant coach, and Johnny Rutherford, my girlfriend Linda, my physio Fabrizio and to my best friend Alberto who have shared with me this exciting journey.

"Silvia, my press officer, who has worked with me the last three years at McLaren, I mean for her this was the last three weeks very intense, but she enjoyed it so much, I think for a press officer this event is like Disneyland for any kid, so I'm happy she enjoyed it.

"It has been an amazing experience that I will take with my forever, I cannot wait to have my papaya orange car in my museum in Spain.

"Finally I would like to wish a speedy recovery to Sebastien Bourdais, we have missed you on track man, get well soon also to Scott, I saw you with some things on your hands, was an incredible flight.

"Thanks everyone, thanks Indianapolis, thanks IndyCar."

What a guy!

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paul C, 01/06/2017 20:20

"Alonso did really well. Only the Honda part of the car failed him. He should use the car for a few more races before placing it in his museum & collection."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 01/06/2017 18:30

"A very stylish and Class speech. Totally unlike the petty comments made by a certain other F1 driver. Now looking forward to seeing him in an LMP1H car at Le Mans in the hopefully not-too-distant future.

Definitely the Racers' Racer."

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3. Posted by Mocha, 31/05/2017 23:39

"I'd rather watch Alonso race tractors with a chance of winning than watch him at his "real job." Even if the tractors only turn left..."

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4. Posted by F One, 31/05/2017 19:08

"That's a fair point Chris yes. :)"

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5. Posted by RSE, 31/05/2017 16:42

"A Class Act by an outstanding driver."

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6. Posted by Editor, 31/05/2017 15:50

"@ F One

HIS publicity stunt?

Hardly

McLaren's publicity stunt, Honda's publicity stunt, Zak Brown's publicity stunt... but not Alonso's."

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7. Posted by F One, 31/05/2017 15:37

"Now his publicity stunt is over he can get back to doing his real job."

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