Thursday 13 April at 08:35 :
Apr.13 (GMM) Former F1 driver Mika Salo has hailed McLaren-Honda's decision to contest the fabled Indy 500 next month with Fernando Alonso.
Notably struggling in F1, the great British team is teaming up with former McLaren driver Michael Andretti's Indy operation to give Spaniard Alonso a one-off shot at one of the world's most famous motor races.
"I think it's great that he (Alonso) is going to try it. Really great," Finn Salo, also an occasional F1 steward, told the Finnish broadcaster C More.
"McLaren is not fighting for wins or good results, but now he has the chance to go where Honda is already a partner for one race," he said.
"He loses one F1 race, but after all he has no possibility to win, but if he gets to grips with the car he could win (at Indy). It's great to see guys jumping from one category to another, like the old days," Salo explained.
Some also see McLaren-Honda's Indy 500 effort for Alonso as a clear sign that the Anglo-Japanese collaboration wants to keep the 35-year-old at McLaren beyond 2017.
"He's won everything," Salo agrees, "and McLaren needs his experience, motivation and speed an awful lot right now."