Fernando Alonso's Indy 500 debut ends with engine failure

Takuma Sato, left, of Japan, toasts with vehicle owner Michael Andretti as they celebrate after winning the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, May 28, 2017, in Indianapolis. "I know better, and I'm angry at myself because there was no constructive objective to it". "Obviously I couldn't ever win it as a driver".

Evening editions of Monday's Japanese newspapers carried front-page photos of Sato standing on his auto with his hands aloft, while others carried pictures of him pouring milk over his head in the traditional Brickyard celebration.

Formula One champion, Fernando Alonso, finished 24th on his Indy 500 debut, after his Honda engine failed with 20 laps remaining.

Running on adrenaline after a short night of sleep, Sato was the toast of two continents for winning the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

When Scott Dixon was involved in that spectacular crash you've probably seen on YouTube already, it was Alonso who had been leading the race and by enough of a margin that Alexander Rossi, with whom he had been battling up until that point, would no longer benefit from his draft.

And when his former team owner A.J. Foyt turned up to say nice things Sunday afternoon, he knew something special had taken place.

That in itself was an incredible effort from the Dubai driver as he climbed from the back of the grid in a race that saw 50 laps run under caution. "Maybe because I have such a big check today", Sato said. I feel very, very lucky.

"I had to make a decision on which way to go", he said of the incident.

While the Spaniard rightly scored well in the first three categories, some in the media have said that Ed Jones, who finished the race third, should have picked up the award.

"I damaged my front wing, had a big hole in it". He won 42 IndyCar races in his career, third-most in series history, but never at The Brickyard. My legs got pretty cold, to be honest. It created a lot of drag. I couldn't pull up to the leaders.

"Even with some unlucky moments of yellow flags, we were in the mix".

However, the Honda jinx followed Alonso here as well and the engine eventually gave up on the two time F1 world champion. "I think when you make those decisions, which way to go with the auto, you're hoping Jay there is going to stay up against the wall". "I knew I could do it, but I was waiting for the moment and the last few laps there was a moment", he said. While Alonso faced an engine blow out at Indy 500, Vandoorne too faced technical issues retiring early from the F1 Monaco GP while Alonso's replacement Jenson Button faced a terminal damage after he pitched into Pascal Wehrlein's auto turning the latter sideways.

  • Julie Sanders