Triple crown: Monaco or F1 championship?
By Alan Baldwin
LONDON (Reuters) - If Fernando Alonso were to beat the odds and win the Indianapolis 500 on May 28, the double Formula One world champion will be one step away from the 'Triple Crown of Motorsport'.
That much is certain. But there is still some debate about what three jewels actually feature in a crown only ever worn by one man.
"I’ve won the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and it’s one of my ambitions to win the Triple Crown," Alonso said in the McLaren statement that announced his intention to skip Formula One's showcase Monaco race to compete at Indianapolis instead.
"I don’t know when I’m going to race at Le Mans, but one day I intend to. I’m only 35: I’ve got plenty of time for that," added the Spaniard.
McLaren listed the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race as the three components of the crown. Other sources, including the official Le Mans website (www.lemans.org), concur.
But that was not how the late Graham Hill, a five times Monaco winner and also a double Formula One world champion like Alonso, saw it after completing the only triple crown to date at Le Mans in 1972.
"It's the (F1) world championship for drivers, Indianapolis and the Le Mans 24 Hours," he told broadcaster Shaw Taylor in a 1975 interview for the Thames Television 'Drive In' programme that can be tracked down on YouTube.
"Indianapolis produced more loot than the others," he continued when asked which race had been the most enjoyable. Continued...