Alonso praises Brown for 'bigger vision'
13 April 2017 – Fernando Alonso has suggested that his agreement to contest this year's Indianapolis 500 would not have been possible under previous McLaren chief Ron Dennis.
Alonso will enter next month's Indy 500, in the process missing the Monaco Grand Prix, in a one-car McLaren entry, run by Andretti Autosport and powered by Honda engines.
Expanding on the deal, Alonso praised Brown, who arrived as McLaren's new Executive Director over the winter, for having a "bigger vision" than other bosses he has worked with.
"I guess not," said Alonso, when asked if Dennis would have approved such a plan.
"I think Zak is a man that has a bigger vision than other team bosses that I've had.
"He sees motorsport differently, he sees McLaren bigger and not only concentrated on Formula 1. McLaren won Le Mans a couple of times and the Indy 500 a couple of times in the past.
"He is a true racer, so it is great that McLaren and Zak joined forces."
Alonso's upcoming run at the Indy 500 will come as part of his quest to claim motorsport's Triple Crown, which is also made up of wins at the Monaco Grand Prix and 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Asked about Le Mans, he added: "It was something on the table also this year.
"Zak, as an American, was pushing for the Indy 500, and [Racing Director] Eric [Boullier], as a Frenchman, was pushing for Le Mans, so I had two girlfriends in one moment!
"I think the McLaren-Honda partnership, to run in the Indy 500, was very attractive this year, and for Le Mans, it is something that I will do, probably as soon as I can.
"I don't know if it will be next year or following years.
"My only and first priority is Formula 1. If I can race together with Formula 1 and other series as I'm doing this year it will be great, but if not I will only do Formula 1."