Indianapolis (USA), – The Spanish driver Fernando Alonso started this afternoon the preparation tests for the 103 edition of the Indianapolis 500 and did so discreetly to be the last in the list of the nine rookies and runners who compete again in the test.
After a morning and early afternoon affected by rain, Alonso went to the track of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway circuit to test his new car of the McLaren Rancing number 66 and the sensations and the results were not the best.
As was feared, the car did not show any speed and had to wait for the twenty-ninth lap, the last it gave in the test session to set the best record of 218.690 miles per hour (351.947km).
Very far from the 226.108 miles per hour (363,885km) established by the American rookie Colton Herta, of the Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda team, who also completed 61 laps and at number 44 set the best time for the participants.
Another highlight of this test day was the veteran Brazilian pilot Helio Castroneves, from Team Penske, who achieved the fastest lap with a record of 225.565 miles per hour (362.102 km) and who occupied the second place after completing 45 laps and in the number 40 made the fastest.
Alonso, a two-time Formula One champion, returned to IMS for the first time since his effort to get attention at the Indianapolis 500 in 2017, when he led 27 laps and was named Rookie of the Year.
The Spaniard’s progress was delayed on Wednesday due to an electrical problem on the installation lap at his No. 66 McLaren Chevrolet and he was unable to complete both phases of the upgrade session.
“It’s good to be back, to feel the magic of the place again,” said Alonso.
He added that the question of the car was not a complete surprise, since it was the first time on the track with the Dallara chassis prepared at the McLaren Technology Center in England, with the last touches that were given a week ago.
“For us, obviously, we lost a bit of time at the beginning,” admitted Alonso. “This was more or less expected because, as I said, it was a completely new chassis, a new car, everything fits in the last week, we expect to run slowly, step by step, short races at the beginning.
“If we could probably have made the (installation) laps at noon, you might have discovered these problems, then you have hours to work on the car, and get ready for the afternoon.” The weather delays everything. 5:30 pm and there is no room to get back on track in time, “analyzed Alonso.
The Spanish Oriol Servia, who runs with The Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, ended meanwhile with the third best record in the afternoon to set his fastest lap in 222,755 miles (358,489 km), number 37 of the 38 he completed.
The preparation tests are given 32 days after the celebration of the “Greatest Automobile Show” of the year in the United States, which is scheduled for Sunday, May 26, which will be its 103rd edition (EFE).