Photo from en.f1i.com
Fernando Alonso being awarded the 101st Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year honors over Ed Jones is the biggest heist since Lufthansa. It shall henceforth be known as The Great Hardware Robbery.
The Dubai born Brit clearly deserved the award after turning in an impressive third place finish in Sunday’s wild ride of a race. Instead, the Spanish born international celebrity who led before retiring with a blown Honda in 24th somehow won the distinction. If you followed the month long Alo saga in the media, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Photo from indycar.com
The argument from some voters – more on them later – seems to be about Alonso’s engine failure, a story we’ve been on top of since the beginning. The trouble with that reasoning is that Ed Jones had the same motor, a Honda. Difference is, he not only finished, but also finished on the podium. This coming – remarkably – in his first ever Indy 500 and only sixth IndyCar race.
Image from twitter.com
Plus there’s the huge payday, a sizable amount the badly beaten up Coyne team could certainly use. Andretti Autosport and McLaren Honda? Not so much. As regular readers of this site know, Jones’ success for an underdog team has been one of the year’s highlights so far.
Photo from twitter.com
It’s the press who vote for ROY and the blame clearly lies with them. Skill, sportsmanship, accessibility to fans and results are the criteria taken into account. It’s hard to argue Alonso outdid Ed in any of these categories, certainly not the last. We can’t help but wonder if Alonso’s ROY isn’t a payoff to McLaren and the publicity Alo generated this month. There’s definitely no denying he was good for circulation – and clicks.