Indy 500 banquet controversy: Fernando Alonso wins Rookie of the Year

Takuma Sato, the 2017 Indianapolis 500 victor, poses for photos in Times Square after ringing the opening bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York, Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

Terry Frei, sportswriter at The Denver Post, lost his job on Monday after tweeting that Japanese race vehicle driver Takuma Sato's win at the Indy 500 made him "uncomfortable".

On Sunday, Sato became the first driver from an Asian nation to win the Indianapolis 500 race, tweeting, "thank you everyone for many messages!"

Chris Perez of the New York Post noted Frei's tweet caused a firestorm of backlash before he deleted it and posted the subsequent apology.

He goes on to describe his experience writing about American athletes in WWII, and those who were killed in the Battle of Okinawa. "Not for squeamish or 'sensitive'".

Frei then took to social media and apologized for his actions.

When asked if Frei was sacked or resigned, she said, "We do not comment on personnel issues".

Sato has thus far stayed mum on Frei's comments.

2017 Indianapolis 500 Champion Takuma Sato was rewarded with a check for $2.45 million at Monday evening's Indy 500 Victory Banquet.

'The tweet doesn't represent what we believe nor what we stand for. "It was really hard for me to defend or even attack, which was really frustrating because I think we had the auto to win today. We hope you will accept our profound apologies", the paper's statement added. His Chip Ganassi Racing team mate Scott Dixon earned $446,629 after winning pole position for the race. Fortunately he was unhurt despite the violence of the impact following a collision with Jay Howard on lap 53.

Fernando Alonso left the Brickyard on Sunday without a fairytale victory to cap his Indy 500 adventure but had no regrets as he prepared to return to his Formula One day job with McLaren.

The machine caught an impressive amount of air and narrowly flew over the top of a fourth auto, landing on the inside barrier, which is the safer of the two. It started back up after 15 minutes.

  • Julie Sanders