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Does anyone have a Honda that works?

Bryan Edwards

This might just be the shortest motorsport article ever. Can it even reach past the "Read More" link onto a full page?

Fernando Alonso, who many commentators repeatedly describe as "the most complete motor racing driver of his time" took to Indianapolis like a duck to water and for more than three quarters of this year's Indy500 either led it or ran in the leading pack.

Then, in a car branded Andretti Autosport Honda McLaren and covered with free advertising for the team's F1 sponsors who are increasingly fed up with the stream of failures, almost all caused by problems with the Honda engines, the entirely different specification Honda in the Indycar expired in a cloud of smoke. So did that of his team-mate, Ryan Hunter-Reay, although that did so in a far more spectacular fashion.

But Alonso was a winner in one respect: American TV commentators are generally known for their redneck patriotism and disaffection for any version of the sport that doesn't involve driving around in circles: proper circuit racers are not generally very well regarded. But with Alonso it was different: the commentators were reverent, genuinely (not Americanly) excited that he was there and were simply delighted when he hit the front and proved his skill, bravery and an ability to learn a new form of racing, which one has to admit is not at all simple, so as to excel within a few laps of the race starting. And he kept out of trouble, both of his own making and being caught up in other people's which is, itself, remarkable.

For the record, the race was won by an former F1 driver, Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to win the race. Powered by Honda.