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Featured Alonso Completes Indy Test - Cleared to Enter Race

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, May 3, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    Alonso IndyCar Test 8.jpg
    Fernando Alonso has passes his first IndyCar test with flying colours at Indianapolis, claiming the "car was driving itself" after impressing onlookers.


    With a much publicised crack at the famous Indy 500 by Fernando Alonso and the McLaren team in partnership with Honda and Andretti Autosport, Fernando Alonso has sailed through his first test in his new environment following the conclusion of rookie orientation testing at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway today.

    Driving the distinctive bright orange McLaren Honda Andretti Dallara IndyCar for the first time, Alonso reported no difficulties with the machine as the Spanish driver almost immediately got down to an impressive performance that belied his complete lack of experience in this kind of racing environment.

    "So far it is a good experience but now starts the real thing," Alonso said.

    "It has been a very helpful day in terms of knowing all this different world and getting up to speed a little bit. "There's still a long way to go but I am happy with this first step."

    Alonso IndyCar Test 1.jpg

    The aim of the rookie tests are to get drivers inexperienced in the art of oval racing up to safe and competitive speeds whilst assessing their capabilities driving on a banked oval circuit.

    To pass, two-time F1 world champion Alonso had to complete three phases of running - 10 laps each at an average of 205-210mph; followed by 15 at 210-215mph; and 15 at 215-220mph. He completed the requirements in just 50 laps.

    Alonso said:

    "It is a good way to start to build the speed. It was probably a little bit difficult at the beginning to reach the minimum but then in the phases it felt good.

    "At the beginning, the right foot has its own brain and it was not connected to my brain. I wanted to go flat-out but the foot wouldn't let me. But after a few laps it was fine."

    Following the successful conclusion of the rookie orientation test programme, Alonso and his team McLaren Honda Andretti worked on further items related to the early preparations for the Spanish superstar, including making changes to the car and feeling the differences reflected out on track, as well as testing fuel saving techniques for use under the inevitable full course caution periods so often seen during oval racing events.

    "The guys make changes all the time to the car," Alonso commented. "On that aspect I am not up to speed. I am not yet able to feel the car because at the moment I am not driving the car, the car is driving me around."

    The circuit looks so narrow when you are at that speed. I was trying different lines but I was not as comfortable as I probably will be in a couple of weeks' time."
    With the Indy 500 marking the most prestigious event of the IndyCar schedule and indeed one of the biggest sporting events on the American calendar, drivers and teams will have a total of 30 hours of practice over a five day period of testing prior to the main qualifying weekend of May 20th -21st May, with pole position decided on the Sunday.

    Alonso is scheduled to complete a further extra day of testing before the opening of official running begins following the conclusion of the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix on May 12th.

    Due to the restrictions put in place for a rookie test Alonso ended the day with a fastest lap of 222.548mph compared to last season's pole time of 230.760mph, set by Canadian James Hinchcliffe.

    Alonso IndyCar Test 3.jpg Alonso IndyCar Test 4.jpg

    For more news and discussions regarding motorsport and Grand Prix racing, head over to the Motorsport sub forum and join in with the community today!

    Alonso IndyCar Test 5.jpg Alonso IndyCar Test 6.jpg Alonso IndyCar Test 7.jpg Alonso IndyCar Test 2.jpg

    Looking forward to seeing Alonso at the Indy 500? Does the move for this race possibility ignite your interest in the great American event? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
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  2. Knoxstar

    Knoxstar

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    He looked good and it was nice to see the McLaren orange back at Indy
     
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  3. Rob

    Rob
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    The best part of today was the hour long plus conversation between Johnny Rutherford and Mario Andretti, both of whom have had success in F1 & IndyCar.

    Combined with the sheer brilliance of what Fernando did, I think this was the best 4 hours of racing I have seen in 20 years and it wasn't even a race.

    Sorry Paul but I have to agree with Fernando. The indianapolis 500 is and always has been the greatest race in the world.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
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  4. guidofoc

    guidofoc

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    I kept awake (late evening here) to watch the tests on YouTube, good luck Alonso!
    ..but why does he remind me so much of this guy? :D
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Thang Nguyen

    Thang Nguyen
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    Who is he?
     
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  6. jonelsorel

    jonelsorel

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    Sorry, what makes a race great in your view? TV audience? Publicity? Cause if that's true, "Gangnam Style" is definitely the greatest music video of all time.

    There's a race being held annually in France, runs for 24h and top competitors cover almost 5500km in it. There's one also in the Eifel mountains on what's universally accepted as the hardest racing circuit in the world. They're probably good candidates for "greatness". For those who've heard of them.
     
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  7. P*Funk

    P*Funk

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    Looks like Borat had a shave and hopped in a car sponsored by bubbly tap water.
     
  8. shimon.ifraimov

    shimon.ifraimov

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  9. Helmut Skrdla

    Helmut Skrdla
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    "McLaren Honda Andretti Dallara"

    Name's a bit short maybe... but yeah, it's a Dallara Chassis with a McLaren name... :thumbsdown:

    I wonder how many times he tried to turn right.
     
  10. Mike Kadlcak

    Mike Kadlcak

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    No way that's definitely Buemi from formula-e :D
     
  11. Boby Kim

    Boby Kim

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    Huh? See, you are not alone on this world. There are other people that share different opinions as there is no monopoly on the truth.
     
  12. guidofoc

    guidofoc

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    hahaha make sure you watch "Talladega nights" it's hilarious!
     
  13. jonelsorel

    jonelsorel

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    First of all, my first sentence was a question. You missed it. Second, my opinion - which doesn't constitute a monopoly (unless you don't know what an opinion is) - is based on what my common sense tells me a great race is and on some common motor racing knowledge; hence I believe it's a little more than just expressing a personal preference. Third, I think you may be mistaking this forum for a children's playground.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  14. Erwin Greven

    Erwin Greven
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    Depends to the factors you use to measure it.
     
  15. @apocapollo

    @apocapollo

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    Particularly considering greatness alone is not a unit of measure.
     
  16. Brandon Wright

    Brandon Wright
    I may not be fast, but I'm wide! Premium

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    This is one of those questions that everyone will have a different answer to because everyone has different criteria for what they like, just like in the sim world.

    IMO, and again this is just my opinion, comparing the two 24 hour races and the Indy 500 is comparing apples and oranges. I love all of them but for totally different reasons. Le Mans is one of my most favorite motorsports weekends, I stock up on snacks and booze and just camp out in front of the tv to watch a huge diversity of different racing cars for two days. It's great. But let's be honest, it's not full of nail-biting action for the majority of the event, a lot of it is just watching how different strategies pan out, who gets hit with reliability problems, or traffic problems, and all that builds to hopefully a climatic finish but often times the last 20-30 minutes feels more like coasting home than fighting tooth and nail. That doesn't mean it isn't a great race or that it isn't massively entertaining, because it is a great race and it is massively entertaining, just in a totally different way than Indy.

    Now let's look at the Indy 500. Much, much shorter race, usually 3 hours or less, but every lap is packed with action, excitement, and danger. There is rarely a time you can afford to look away from it without fear of missing something. Last year the action started at the green flag, lots of passing, lead changes, frantic action from the off, drama in the pits, and absolutely no idea who was going to win the race until the winner coasted across the finish line (literally). In 2013 there were 68 lead changes (official lead changes only count at the start/finish, unofficially there were 84 lead changes) and 14 different leaders. 2014 was a similar affair, not quite as many lead changes but still 34 official lead changes among 11 drivers. 2015 and 2016 calmed down slightly due to the introduction of the aero kits but still lots of action, overtaking, and lead changes. That is a whole lot of racing action and entertainment, it's intense!

    So if we're basing things just on the amount of on-track battles, overtakes, lead changes, and nail biting endings, it's easy to argue that the Indy 500 is the most "exciting" race, and this is why it's often referred to as the Greatest Spectacle in Racing....not necessarily meaning it is the best race in the world but it certainly is an incredible and entertaining spectacle. But if we're basing things on worldwide reach, diversity of equipment and innovation, and having the best drivers in the world participating then it's easy to argue that Le Mans is the best race in the world. But those two criteria are so different it leaves a pretty large divide between the two.

    I've lived near Indy my whole life and have attended at least a dozen 500s, last year's race with nearly 400,000 people in attendance and an absolute cracker of a race with an amazing finish (IMO) was THE most incredible race I've ever been to in my life and something I will never, ever forget. But I will always have a hard time saying that the 500 is "the best" race in the world because I just find it impossible to directly compare it to Le Mans. But I also don't feel the need to apply labels to either of them, these two races are the crown jewels of my motosport world and I enjoy them both immensely but for entirely different reasons.

    Again, just one person's opinion, but IMO we shouldn't worry about trying to label one of them as the best because they are both fantastic motorsports events that draw worldwide attention and have decades and decades of history attached to them. I know Indy doesn't draw nearly as much international attention as it used to and I think a lot of people aren't aware of the massively entertaining event it has become, but hopefully the increased attention from Alonso/McLaren this year will make some new fans and rekindle some old fans. And hopefully Le Mans will still manage to be a great show even though only two teams will be fighting for the overall win.
     
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  17. Knoxstar

    Knoxstar

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    Alonzo is very good at PR and also very motivated to win the 500 to add to his Monaco wins and World F1 Championships. When he tackles LeMans IT will be the greatest race in the world....but for now, for him, for McLaren and Honda, it is the 500.
     
  18. Enpassant

    Enpassant

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    Great move... Exchange Monaco GP for the Indy 500 is a loud voice against Honda and the way which F1 stride today at all... IMHO.
     
  19. Rob

    Rob
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    Oh, I stand corrected. I am sure you are right and Fernando is wrong.
     
  20. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo

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    It was, 2 decades ago... now Le Mans beat it by 500 miles