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Alonso's Indy 500 plan is 'barking mad', says Horner

Alonso's Indy 500 plan is 'barking mad', says Horner

Alonso's decision to take part in the 101st Indy 500 left a vacant seat alongside Vandoorne, the Belgian who replaced Button at McLaren this season.

Red Bull team chief Christian Horner described his McLaren counterpart Zak Brown as "barking mad" on Friday for agreeing to allow Fernando Alonso to miss the Monaco Grand Prix and race in the Indianapolis 500.

Button, who had regarded the concluding race of the 2016 campaign in Abu Dhabi as the last of his 17-season career, will be one of McLaren's two drivers at Monaco, with Belgium's Stoffel Vandoorne in their other auto.

"Perhaps if the races didn't clash - or do it at the end of his F1 career, but, obviously, McLaren have got this approach, which is perhaps different to ours".

Ferraris Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (L) chats with McLaren Mercedes' British driver Jenson Button (R) as Mercedes-AMG's British driver Lewis Hamilton looks on during the press conference at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on November 20, 2014 ahead of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.

"Zak's got the problem of a depressed driver on his hands, he's trying to keep him motivated and he's come up with this idea to send him to Indianapolis".

"No testing. He is just going to jump in the vehicle". Turn 1 is a proper Turn as well, it is not easy flat all the way around.

"I've won the race before, in 2009, and it's one of my all-time favorite race tracks", Button said.

"I'm thrilled to be making a one-off return to Formula One racing, and I couldn't think of a better place to make that return than my adopted home Grand Prix of Monaco", Button said in the McLaren statement.

Racing Director, √Čric Boullier, adds: "Jenson is a superb driver and he won't have lost any of his competitive edge over the past few months".

"If a driver is with your team it is like like disappearing with another girlfriend halfway through the year and then coming back, doesn't seem the right thing".

Brown responded by backing Alonso to prove Horner wrong and fight up the order in the Indy 500 on debut. A rookie driver won it a year ago, not that we're going to set any expectations.

Jenson Button will race in Fernando Alonso's stead at the Monaco Grand Prix.

"I think he'll have a auto capable of running at the front, and I think he will be extremely prepared. It's good if that's what he wants to do, but honestly, I'm surprised that it's happening". And that's what you need to be around Indianapolis.