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IndyCar newsflash: Alonso and McLaren go separate ways

Chris Owens

The IndyCar Series kicks off in March to find the new champion – We take a look at the news for the 2020 season

Leadlap.net update: On March 15 the NTT IndyCar Series will start its 25th official season. Before the new season kicks off in St. Petersburg, Florida, ‘Leadlap.net’ will as of now provide you with the latest developments and talking points about the iconic American race series.

Fernando Alonso ends cooperation with McLaren

A big surprise is that Fernando Alonso is not going to continue the hunt for the triple crown together with McLaren. In 2017, McLaren, Alonso and Andretti worked together on a project for the Indy 500, in which Alonso consistently drove in the leading pack. However, an engine failure in the final stages prevented a possible sensation.

In 2019, Alonso and McLaren returned to the Indy 500, but this time without Andretti’s support. After a number of mishaps, poor luck and breakdowns during the preparation, and the lack of Indy experience within the McLaren team, Alonso even failed to qualify for the race.

This year the ambitious Spaniard wants to leave nothing to chance apparently and is in promising negotiations with Andretti Autosport to resume their previous successful cooperation for the 104th edition of the Indy 500.

“It’s not done yet but it’s looking pretty good”, team boss Michael Andretti recently told ‘Racer.com‘. However, one hurdle seems to be that Alonso and Andretti’s engine supplier Honda put their differences aside.

Robert Wickens walks on his own again after horror crash

In August 2018, Robert Wickens had a massive accident at the Pocono Raceway when, after contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay, his SPM machine crashed fiercely into the catch fences at around 190 mph, destroying the chassis completely.

Beside fractures in both legs and hands, four broken ribs and a pulmonary contusion, Wickens also suffered severe spinal cord injuries. Since then, the brave Canadian has been in a wheelchair, fighting his way back to recovery little by little.

On his Instagram channel, the 30-year-old has now posted a video (WATCH HERE: https://www.instagram.com/p/B7b60R0nhP0/) of him managing to walk a few steps on his own. “It’s like I’ve been doing it for years! I’m happy my balance has improved a lot in the last 4-6 weeks. Hopefully this is signs of things to come in 2020! The grind never stops.”, the former DTM star informed his followers.

McLaren takes over SPM, Hinchcliffe searching after a cockpit

After the unlucky Indy 500 performance of the McLaren team in 2019, the team has found a strong and experienced partner in Schmidt Peterson Motorsport. Now known as ‘Arrow McLaren SP’, the partnership will enter the 2020 season with a new driver line-up. Oliver Askew and “Pato” O’Ward are taking over from Marcus Ericsson and James Hinchcliffe.

While Ericsson secured a top spot alongside Scott Dixon at Chip Ganassi Racing, “Hinch” seems to have a poor chance of finding a full-time seat in 2020. However, the popular Canadian recently announced that he has found a primary financial partner in “Genesys” and is therefore confident of starting at the Indy GP and Indy 500 in May as a guest starter.