After being confirmed at this year's Indy 500, Fernando Alonso said he wants to emulate Graham Hill in winning motorsport's Triple Crown -- a Monaco Grand Prix win, the Le Mans 24 Hours and the iconic oval race.
In a shocking announcement on Wednesday McLaren confirmed two-time world champion Alonso will miss this year's Monaco Grand Prix -- which he has won twice before -- to drive in in this year's Indy 500. He will compete in a McLaren entry powered by Honda under the Andretti Autosport stable.
Alonso has made little secret of his desire to race in other categories once his career has finished and very nearly competed at the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours, only for Honda to block his entry at the last minute. Alonso then watched Force India's Nico Hulkenberg take his Porsche drive and win the event at the first time of asking.
The Spaniard says he will not be going to the Indy 500 just to make up the numbers.
"I've won the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and it's one of my ambitions to win the Triple Crown, which has been achieved by only one driver in the history of motorsport: Graham Hill," Alonso said. "It's a tough challenge, but I'm up for it. I don't know when I'm going to race at Le Mans, but one day I intend to. I'm only 35: I've got plenty of time for that.
"I've never raced an IndyCar car before, and neither have I ever driven on a super-speedway, but I'm confident that I'll get to grips with it fast. I've watched a lot of IndyCar action on TV and online, and it's clear that great precision is required to race in close proximity with other cars on the far side of 220mph [354km/h]."
The Spaniard tweeted his excitement shortly after the announcement.
Michael Andretti, himself a former McLaren driver, has no doubt Alonso can be immediately competitive for the team.
"Fernando's lack of experience on super-speedways is not of concern to me. I do believe that the Indianapolis 500 is one of the best places for a rookie to start because there is the opportunity for so much practice time on the track - and, as we have demonstrated, it can be won by a rookie. Fernando is a great talent and I have full confidence that he will represent very strongly for McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport.
"Fernando's addition to the team takes our stable of entries to six, working in a cooperative effort. This sharing of experience and knowledge is what makes Andretti Autosport stand out and gives us that extra competitive edge."