This week, F1 chief Chase Carey said of the McLaren-Honda driver’s decision to skip Monaco: “It is indirectly beneficial to us as a great F1 driver who reaches the American audience in a different way.
“But it is not an ideal situation. If I could choose, I would prefer to see him in Monaco,” the American added.
Mark Miles, the Indy 500 and Indycar chief, said he can understand Carey’s position.
“I would have thought the same thing if a month ago our champion, (Simon) Pagenaud, asked me if he could do a (F1) race,” he told the Spanish sports newspaper Marca.
“But now I see it differently — that it helps to expand both sports. For us it means a lot, not commercially because the contribution will be marginal, but it does put us in the sights of many people who don’t know about our series.”
Indeed, Alonso’s first test day in his orange Indycar earlier this week was watched by an online international audience of 2 million people.
“We didn’t expect that the broadcast would have that impact — some even thought that no one would watch it, but it was impressive and we haven’t even started yet,” said Miles.