Fernando Alonso completes Indy 500 rookie orientation

Fernando Alonso completed the mandatory rookie orientation programme ahead of his Indianapolis 500 debut in the first hour of his maiden IndyCar test on Wednesday

Event rookies have to complete laps within prescribed speed ranges to be eligible for participation in the 500 and before they are allowed to run at full pace.

Alonso's target was to cover 10 laps at 205-210mph, 15 laps at 210-215mph, and then 15 laps between 215mph and 220mph.

Live video: Watch Alonso's first Indy 500 test day

He achieved this over a total of 51 laps spread across four runs in his first hour on track in his McLaren/Honda/Andretti-entered Dallara, posting a fastest average lap speed of 219.654mph.

Speaking after completing the rookie programme, Alonso said: "It was fun, it's a good way to start, to build the speed.

"It was probably a little bit difficult in the beginning to reach the minimum [speed], but then on the next stages it felt good.

"Now hopefully we can put some laps in and start feeling the car - at the moment the car is driving myself, I am not driving the car.

"I do feel more comfortable, just because with 30 laps, 40 laps in the pocket you can fine tune the lines, which gear to use in which corner.

"At the moment everything looks good, but now starts the real thing."

Alonso's first run had been delayed until nearly 11am local time as cold conditions earlier meant Marco Andretti's shakedown laps in the car took place later than planned.

Rain is now forecast during the afternoon, so the scheduled lunchbreak is set to be abandoned so that Alonso can complete maximum mileage on his only extra test day before the official start of Indy 500 practice on Monday May 15.

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