Fernando Alonso has suggested that he might not have the necessary level of commitment to make another serious bid to win the famous Indianapolis 500 motor race when he does eventually retire from Formula 1.
In the past, Alonso has made no secret of his desire to win motorsport's 'Triple Crown' by clinching career victories in the Indy 500, Le Mans 24 Hours and the Monaco F1 Grand Prix. Only one driver in history has achieved it in the past - Graham Hill.
Alonso already has two out of three victories needed, but has not managed to clinch the Indy 500 crown in three attempts to date.
His first attempt was in 2017 when he took time out from McLaren and missed the Monaco GP to take part in the US race the same day. He had been leading at one point before an engine issue forced him out in the latter stages.
After retiring from F1 in 2019, an embarrassing misfire attempt saw him fail to make that year's Indy 500 grid. He was subsequently just 21st in his most recent attempt in 2020.
Since then Alonso's focus has been back on F1, with his career resurgent at Aston Martin including four podium finishes in the first five races of the 2023 championship putting him third in the current drivers standings.
But at 41 years old - making him the oldest driver on the current grid - Alonso is aware that his time in the sport is coming to an end, leaving many wondering what he will do next.
The idea that he would chase the Triple Crown again has always been a top assumption, but the two-time champion seemed less keen on it when talking with Sky Sports' Martin Brundle in Miami.
"It’s there," Alonso told Brundle when asked if the desire to run the Indy 500 again was still present. "But I think the commitment it has to be really high and 100 per cent.
"When I stopped Formula 1 to commit to Indy 500, the month of May there, and then those cars, I think small details can make a big difference there," saying it was the reason why IndyCar regulars would always have the upper hand.
"I’m not maybe up to speed or not as prepared as they are and I have to admit that," he said. "If I want to win the Indy 500, I need a few attempts and maximum commitment, and run a few ovals beforehand.
"I think when I stop Formula 1 this time, maybe I don’t want that commitment," he admitted. "There is a danger factor as well."
Instead, it seems that rallying has caught his eye with a possible entry in the famous Dakar race a genuine possibility.
"I know that I’m at the end of my career, and I don’t know if it’s going to be two years, three years, four years or whatever they are, and after that, I think I will maybe try Dakar.
“After winning Le Mans 24 Hours or Daytona or experiencing the Indy 500, I think if one day by luck you win Dakar, that would be unprecedented," he said. "It’s the opposite thing of F1, that’s why it’s attractive to me."
Alonso made his first and to date only run in the Dakar Rally in 2020 and duly finished a respectable 13th. "It was an experience that I really enjoyed and it doesn’t need maybe a preparation or commitment like F1."
For now, though, Alonso is focussed on his new success for as long as it lasts. "I’m enjoying my time in Aston Martin," he said, suggesting that his tenure there could extend past his remaining time behind the wheel.
"Maybe I can be a help for the team in the future after 20 plus years in the sport. I can have maybe some knowledge that can help the team," he said. “I don’t know exactly the role of it, and it’s just in my imagination. Maybe it’s not even possible.
"I'll feel that if I’m at home sitting in front of the TV, watching the races, maybe I can give something to any team and that will be probably my wish," he added. "Parallel to that, I may do a few Dakars and maybe have fun behind the wheel.”