Following yesterday’s news that Fernando Alonso will miss the Monaco Grand Prix to race in the Indy 500, McLaren have given details of the other races the Spanish driver will sit out, and the reasons why.
‘Fernando has suddenly realised he is quite busy with other engagements this year,’ admitted senior McLaren spokesman, Señor MacLaren-Spohksman. ‘In fact, the more he’s driven the MCL32, the more commitments elsewhere he seems to have remembered.’
The team today confirmed that, fresh from his Indy experience, Alonso will also miss the Canadian Grand Prix because he’ll be driving in a WRC event in Sardinia, the Azerbaijan race because he’ll be driving in a NASCAR race in California, and the Austrian GP because he’ll be driving up the M6 to Stoke-on-Trent to see his old mate Peter Wilson which has been in the diary for ages and, sorry, he really can’t get out of it.
Sources say Alonso will also miss the British Grand Prix because he has a friend’s wedding, the Hungarian Grand Prix because it’s Ruben Barichello’s 48 hour Dempsey & Makepeace marathon that weekend, and the Belgian Grand Prix because he really wants to watch the Belgian Grand Prix on telly. He will also sit out the Spanish Grand Prix because he has ‘a lot of friends coming in town’ that weekend.
In total, Alonso is expected to miss 18 races in the 2017 season, or 19 if you include the Chinese race which he has already wiped from his mind. A replacement for the absent Spanish driver has yet to be confirmed.
‘Oh no, my mobile phone and iPad and all other means of communication have fallen off my yacht and into the sea,’ said Jenson Button, yesterday. ‘Oh look, here comes a carrier pigeon…’ he added.