Fernando Alonso will not racing for McLaren-Honda at the Monaco Grand Prix this year
Jenson Button is expected to return to the McLaren-Honda seat at the end of May after Fernando Alonso revealed this week that he would not travel to Monte Carlo.
The Spaniard will instead race for Andretti Autosport in a McLaren-branded, Honda-powered car in one of the world’s most famous races.
And while the 35-year-old conceded that Monaco is always a special occasion, McLaren’s engine troubles played a part in his decision.
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“It was difficult to choose,” said Alonso, who has been forced to retire from both of the Grands Prix so far this season.
“It’s the biggest race in the calendar in Formula 1 and the event is amazing, not only the race on Sunday, but the whole weekend.
“The best result we achieved [with McLaren-Honda] was last year – fifth – and we are a little bit less competitive this year so maybe you have the possibility to get top five or top seven or six.
“It’s great to have some points but I’ve won there a couple of times already and I’m a two-time world champion.
Fernando Alonso has been struggling for pace in the McLaren this year with an poor Honda engine
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“So fifth, seventh or ninth in Monaco will not change my life.
“It’s impossible to compare having a chance to win Indy 500 to a fifth or sixth at Monaco.
“We know with the package we have in the last couple of years, we have the best opportunity and we achieve the best results.
“It’s a magic event. With all due respect to all other races, to miss any other race would have been better compared to Monte Carlo!
“I will try to keep up from Indianapolis because the weekend is quite free except for the race on Sunday but I will miss Monaco massively.”