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Fernando Alonso says he lacked the pace and experience he needed to fight for victory at Indy 500

Fernando Alonso has admitted he did not have the pace or experience he needed to fight for victory at Sunday's Indianapolis 500, but he believes he could have achieved a top-10 finish had it not been for a clutch issue.

It was Alonso's third attempt at the Indy 500 and the first time he has made the finish, crossing the line in 21st place and one lap down on race winner Takuma Sato.

Alonso, a two-time Formula One world champion, has been chasing victory at the famous race since 2017 in the hope of securing motorsport's unofficial triple crown of wins at the Indy 500, Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans 24 Hours.

Alonso will not return to the 500-mile race for at least another two years after signing a new Formula One contract with Renault until 2022 that will prevent him from taking part.

The Spaniard ran as high as 15th place in Sunday's race, but admitted afterward that he and his Arrow McLaren SP car were not competitive enough to fight for victory.

"We wanted to be fighting for the win today, but we did not have the pace and I still [do] not have the experience needed," Alonso wrote on Instagram.

"We probably could fight for the top ten, but we did not have the luck either (or clutch...). But those 200 laps are so intense that you enjoy every second behind the wheel."

A clutch issue occurred on Lap 110, when Alonso was running 15th, which meant his McLaren mechanics had to push start his car after every pit stop after.

"It was a very eventful race for us," he added. "We didn't have one lap of kindness, let's say. We were struggling from the very beginning with the balance of the car with a lot of oversteer.

"We kept changing that balance in the pit stops, reducing the front flap, doing tire adjustments, and then we started to be happy with the car.

"We were up to P15 around Lap 110, which is where we wanted to be. We spent half the race going from P26 to P15 and then we had a clutch problem on the car that we didn't know how to solve.

"We finished the race without the clutch, so from that point on every pit stop we had to push the car, engage the gear and go.

"That cost us a lap and unfortunately, we kept that lap down until the end and we could not achieve anything more. I'm happy to finish the race, cross the line and have one 500 miles in the pocket, that's the positive thing.

"The negative is that we were out of contention very quickly with the clutch problem."

The race took place behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning there were no fans in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's giant grandstands.

"Being one of the cars out there already has to be a privilege, doing what we love to do," Alonso added. "Thanks to drivers, teams, sponsors, Indycar, media and fans (even at home we feel the support).

"This is the craziest race in the world."