Bernie would have blocked Alonso's Indy 500 appearance
The former Formula One champion, 37, retired at the end of last season but apparently it took just a two minute phone call to persuade him to race in place of the 35-year-old Spaniard - who is unavailable as he's travelling to the U.S. to take part in the Indianapolis 500 this weekend.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown must be barking mad to allow Fernando Alonso to race in the Indianapolis 500, says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
"Owing to Fernando Alonso's commitments with McLaren- Honda-Andretti over the weekend of the Indianapolis 500, which iconic race will take place on the same date (May 28th) as the Monaco Grand Prix, Jenson will take over Fernando's McLaren- Honda MCL32 for one race only: the equally iconic Monaco Grand Prix", said a team statement.
Brown, an American former racer and marketing expert who was appointed McLaren's executive director past year, defended himself as he sat next to Horner in a post-practice news conference.
"Zak [Brown] has got a problem, he's got a depressed driver on his hands, he's trying to keep him motivated".
"He must be barking mad, it's the nuttiest race I've ever seen! So I think he needs to see a psychiatrist, personally".
"[There is] no testing". No testing, he's just going to jump in the vehicle. Turn 1 is a proper turn, it's easy flat the whole way round.
Speaking ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Ecclestone was quoted by ESPN as saying: "I would have said wait until your contract finishes and then you can do what you like but you are in the middle of Formula One and you are a Formula One driver".
Horner said he would not have allowed any of his drivers to leave the team during a season to race in another series.
"It's a tricky street circuit on which a good driver can really make a difference and, although the McLaren-Honda hasn't begun the season well, I think it may be more suited to Monaco than to the faster circuits that Fernando and Stoffel have raced it on so far this season". It doesn't seem the right thing to be doing.
"I don't know whether that is because I am my father's daughter and I know Frank probably wouldn't", she said.
"OK, I realise we won't have a realistic chance of repeating my 2009 victory, but I think we'll have an opportunity to score world championship points, which will be very valuable to the team in terms of constructors' rankings. But I won't expand on reasons why".
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