Alonso close to Andretti deal for Indy 500

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Fernando Alonso is close to signing a deal to contest this year's Indy 500 with Michael Andretti's team.

Two-time world champion Alonso has twice attempted to win the famous oval race with McLaren -- in 2017, the British team linked up with Andretti Autosport and Honda in a joint bid, before a McLaren-Chevrolet venture failed to qualify for the 2019 edition. McLaren is entering its own team into the IndyCar championship this season but Alonso is not part of its lineup, meaning a deal to work with Andretti appears the most likely option.

"It's not done yet but it's looking pretty good," Andretti is quoted as saying by RACER. "We want it to happen, and I've just got to figure out how to get it funded. I think we can find a sponsor, but do I roll the dice, sign him and then hope to get it funded? I really enjoy working with the guy, and I want to make it happen."

According to RACER, McLaren CEO Zak Brown is still hoping to run a third car for Alonso at the race.

Winning the Indy 500 would be the final piece of the Triple Crown of Motorsport for Alonso: he has already won the Monaco Grand Prix and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The Spaniard stepped away from F1 at the end of the 2018 season and has tried his hand at various other series. In the same season he claimed the Le Mans title, he and Toyota teammates Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima won the World Endurance Championship title, while he has also competed in the Daytona 24 Hours. This month he is contesting the famous Dakar Rally for the first time.

This year's Indy 500 is May 24 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.