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Alonso surprised at Indy 500 prize money: ‘Lot of F1 drivers will be coming soon’

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Fernando Alonso has admitted his surprise at how lucrative taking part in the Indy 500 is.

The Spaniard qualified fifth, was crowned rookie of the year and retired with a blown Honda engine as he skipped Monaco to take part in the fabled US oval race.

It emerged that he took home about $300,000 in prize money.

“I’m going to have to tell the guys in formula one,” the McLaren-Honda driver is quoted by the German broadcaster RTL.

“It’s a really good thing you have here, and I think a lot of F1 drivers will be coming soon.”

Expressed disappointment of Indy DNF

“I’m disappointed not to finish the race because obviously, every race you compete in, you want to be at the chequered flag,” said Alonso. “Today that was not possible.

“It was a great experience, the last two weeks. I came here basically to prove myself, to challenge myself. I know that I can be as quick as anyone in an F1 car. I didn’t know if I can be as quick as anyone in an IndyCar.”

“It was nice to have this competitive feeling, even leading the Indy 500, you know,” said Alonso. “One lap you put on the lead there, it was already a nice feeling. I was passing, watching the tower, saw the 29 on top of it. I was thinking at that moment if Zak (Brown) or someone from the team was taking a picture, because I want that picture at home.

“Thanks to IndyCar, amazing experience. Thanks to Indianapolis. Thanks to the fans. I felt at home. I’m not American, but I felt really proud to race here.”

“Congratulations to Sato San, to Andretti,” said Alonso. “We have been sharing the last two weeks all the meetings in the morning, the meetings in the afternoon. Takuma was a lot of help, coming from F1.

“The last two laps I was on my knees really pushing Sato. Extremely happy for the final result.”

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