F1 fans will not see the Spaniard at Monaco in a fortnight, as he is doing the Indy 500 instead.
“I fully respect Fernando but I don’t think it’s correct,” said Alonso’s former Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa.
“You’re racing in the most important category in the world and then you’re not doing Monaco to do another race? I think if you ask any team boss in history he would say it’s not correct,” the Brazilian added.
But Alonso’s McLaren boss is Zak Brown, and the American got on the private jet with the 35-year-old, bound for Indianapolis.
“Tomorrow at 9am I will be at Indy for the first practice session,” Alonso said before departing. “So I have 14 hours to relax, 9 of which will be on a plane but now I switch to Indy mode and all of my attention is on this adventure.”
Alonso said he has no regrets about skipping Monaco, as even if he repeated his stirring performance of Barcelona, the top three teams will remain ahead of McLaren-Honda on the prestigious streets.
But asked if finishing Sunday’s race in Barcelona was a turning point, Alonso said: “No, the turning point will be when Honda brings something new.”
Alonso told the Spanish newspaper ABC he had hoped the dawn of the all-new 2017 regulations would be Honda’s turning point.
“In formula one the normal thing is to hire the best engineers and copy the others,” he said. “But Honda has remained true to its philosophy and took a while – too long – to realise that they need more from the outside,” he said.