Montoya hopeful more drivers follow in Alonso’s Indy 500 footsteps


Juan Pablo Montoya will lock horns with Fernando Alonso for the first time since 2006 next month at Indianapolis - Credit: Chris Owens / IndyCar

Juan Pablo Montoya hopes that Fernando Alonso’s decision to race the Indianapolis 500 in 2017 opens the doors for other drivers to race in different categories in the future.

Alonso announced that he would skip the Monaco Grand Prix with his McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team in order to race with Andretti Autosport at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May, but Montoya, who himself will race the event with Team Penske, says that he would like to see others make the effort to race in more than one motorsport category.

Montoya himself has an impressive résumé, including taking victory in both the Indy 500 (twice) and the Monaco Grand Prix, two events of Motorsport’s Triple Crown along with the 24 Hours of Le Mans, something Alonso is aiming to complete before he retires.

“It would be nice for motorsports to do a little more of that because it’s just going to create a little more interest overall,” said Montoya on Autosport. “It is something that it would be nice to see all motorsports to be able to see top drivers jump from one to the other just for one race.

“I was lucky enough to be in all the top series in the world and being able to win in all of them and everything. I’ve been very blessed in that point of view.”

Montoya, who last raced against Alonso during his Formula 1 days in the United States Grand Prix around the road course at Indianapolis back in 2006, admitted he never imagined that he would be racing the Spaniard in an IndyCar at Indy.

“If you would have told me I was going to win a race ever against Alonso, it would be an endurance race or something, not in Indy to be honest,” admitted Montoya.

“I think it’s great. I think having Fernando is going to be a really good day for motorsports, not only for IndyCar, but I think the attention overall for seeing Fernando and myself and everybody running Indy is going to be really big.”