Fernando Alonso and McLaren confirm 2019 return to Indy 500

WATCH: Alonso's first IndyCar test of 2018 (1:28)

Take a look at Fernando Alonso take a spin around Barber Motor Park. (1:28)

McLaren and Fernando Alonso will return to the Indianapolis 500 next year as the Spanish driver continues his pursuit of motorsport's triple crown.

Alonso, who will retire from F1 at the end of the year, raced at the Indy 500 in a McLaren-entered car in 2017 but was forced to retire with an engine failure.

He will return in 2019 with the aim of emulating Graham Hill, who is the only driver to win the Monaco Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indy 500 during the course of his career. After winning Le Mans this year, Alonso is only missing the Indy 500 to complete the set.

"I've made clear for some time my desire to achieve the triple crown," Alonso said. "I had an incredible experience at Indianapolis in 2017 and I knew in my heart of hearts I had to go back if the opportunity was there. I'm especially glad to be returning with McLaren.

"This was always my first choice if the team decided to do it, so I'm delighted they've decided to go ahead. It's a tough race and we'll be up against the best, so it will be a huge challenge. But we're racers and that's why we race. One of the things I'm looking forward to most is seeing the fans again, who are absolutely fantastic."

McLaren CEO Zak Brown added: "We are relishing our return to the Brickyard and this incredible race. McLaren has a long and fond relationship with the Indianapolis 500 and it's a case of unfinished business for us with Fernando.

"No Indy 500 is a cakewalk, it's a massive challenge. We have the utmost respect for the race and our competitors. So, we are under no illusions. But McLaren are racers first and foremost, as is Fernando. We're going for it."

McLaren teamed up with Andretti Autopsort for the 2017 Indy 500, but the team said further details about Alonso's 2019 entry would folow in due course.