Fernando Alonso didn't get maximum from car in Indy 500 qualifying

Fernando Alonso says he failed to get the best out of his McLaren Honda Andretti-run Indycar in qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, despite reaching Sunday's Fast Nine Shootout

Fernando Alonso didn't get maximum from car in Indy 500 qualifying

The McLaren Honda Andretti driver set a four-lap average of 230.034mph to end the first day of qualifying seventh and will be one of the nine drivers to fight for pole on Sunday, but felt there was room for improvement.

"The laps I could improve a bit, I was not extracting the maximum from the car," said Alonso.

"I keep learning. Tomorrow, I will use that lesson and be quicker.

"The team did a fantastic job to put me in a car that was able to run 230[mph laps], but there is still more to come.

"I didn't maximise the potential of it in lap three and four."

Alonso said work could also be done to improve the handling of his car, both in terms of the overall downforce level and the set-up detail.

After his run, he complained of oversteer over the radio to his team.

This became more of a problem in the second half of his run, with his pace dropping from 230.337mph and 230.260mph on his first two laps to 229.845mph and 230.034 mph on the last two.

"We need to review the downforce level," said Alonso when asked by Autosport about what changes he wanted to make.

"When we ran, it was quite hot in that moment so we will see tomorrow what the conditions are when we are running and will decide on the exact level of downforce.

"On the set-up change, probably we can do small tweaks to make the run a little more comfortable and more consistent hopefully."

Alonso added that it would have been "unthinkable" that he would make the Fast Nine when he had his first run at Indianapolis on May 3.

After that test day, followed by five days of practice ahead of Saturday qualifying, he admitted to being surprised to have made it.

"It was unthinkable probably," said Alonso when asked how he would have reacted if told that he would make the Fast Nine after his first test day.

"Not because you don't trust yourself or whatever, but there are many little ingredients here that you need to put together to find the right recipe.

"There is the wind, the trim, the high boost you only have a few laps to test with on Fast Friday and today the conditions changed every single lap."

Alonso said he would gun for pole position on Sunday, although he admitted it would be a surprise to top the shootout session.

"Everyone will pick up speed tomorrow, after today's run we will tune the car a bit and try to be a bit more competitive," he said.

"When I close the visor, you have to be sure I will go for it."

shares
comments
Indy 500 qualifying: Carpenter leads day one, Alonso into Fast Nine

Previous article

Indy 500 qualifying: Carpenter leads day one, Alonso into Fast Nine

Next article

Bourdais out of rest of 2017 IndyCar season after Indy 500 crash

Bourdais out of rest of 2017 IndyCar season after Indy 500 crash
Load comments
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

IndyCar
Sep 15, 2021
Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021