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."

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