‘No excuses’ from Brown over McLaren’s Indianapolis failure

Zak Brown and Fernando Alonso

McLaren Racing has ‘no excuses’ about Fernando Alonso’s failure to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, according to team CEO Zak Brown.

Alonso was bumped off the last row by Kyle Kaiser and the minnow Juncos Racing outfit after a stuttering run through the first week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for McLaren.

The team’s sporting director Gil de Ferran described it as his “most painful experience” in motorsport in the aftermath, and apologised to Alonso for not giving the Spaniard a fast enough car.

Brown did not speak to media at the time, but has since opened up on social media.

“Incredibly disappointed for the fans, our team, our partners and Fernando that we will not be racing in the Indy500 this year,” he wrote.

“It was always going to be a hard road but no excuses – we didn’t get the job done. Credit and respect to those who did.

“I’m sorry we couldn’t put McLaren and Fernando in the race. The team put their heart and soul into it and I thank them. We know where we went wrong and we’ll fix it.”

While James Hinchcliffe had a near-miss after not making the 33-car field last year, Alonso is arguably the biggest scalp from Indianapolis 500 qualifying since both the Team Penske entries for Al Unser Jnr and Emerson Fittipaldi went out early in 1995.

This time around, Simon Pagenaud has qualified on pole with Team Penske, while his team-mates are set to start sixth (Will Power), eighth (Josef Newgarden), and 12th (Helio Castroneves).

Only Carb Day practice remains on Friday (Saturday morning AEST) before the 200-lap race itself.

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