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Featured Question Time! Can Alonso Win the Indy 500 This Year?

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, May 17, 2017.

  1. Yes!

    79 vote(s)
    40.7%
  2. No, podium at best

    27 vote(s)
    13.9%
  3. No, top six should be realistic

    67 vote(s)
    34.5%
  4. No, he'll struggle to achieve anything on his first time at the Speedway

    21 vote(s)
    10.8%
  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment News Editor Staff Premium

    Messages:
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    Alonso Indy 500 3.jpg
    Probably the biggest news of the 2017 IndyCar season is the upcoming Indy 500 debut of double Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso, but can he really win the event first time of asking?

    Alonso is an incredible talent of that there is no doubt, and team boss of the McLaren Honda Andretti team and a former IndyCar champion himself Michael Andretti knows a thing or two about driving in circles at 220 + MPH, so does Alonso and his new team really stand a serious chance of walking away with the famous Borg-Warner Trophy?

    So far in his early Indy 500 journey Alonso has reportedly impressed many seasoned onlookers over in the United States, constantly running competitive lap times and breezing through the preliminary rookie orientation tests designed to ensure new drivers are capable of lapping the daunting oval circuit safely and quickly prior to the commencement of official practice and qualification sessions throughout the month of May.

    With a respectable amount of seat time already behind the driver, Alonso's real work has only just begun at Indianapolis this week, with official practice having kicked off for the great American race on Monday.

    Alonso Indy 500 2.jpg

    Day one found the Formula One driver well inside the top 20 times at the end of opening practice session, bringing his McLaren Honda Andretti Dallara Honda home in a respectable 19th overall with a lap of 223.025mph. Managing just 20 laps after mechanical delays prevented the former World Champion from running in traffic and completing the days testing programme, Alonso came away from the first day of the event with valuable seat time and further useful experience to put towards his bid for victory at Indy.

    Alonso Indy 500.jpg

    Day two on Tuesday was concentrated mainly on spending time in traffic and practicing slipstreaming with his fellow Andretti Autosport teammates, ending the day in just 24th position but clocking up the most laps of anyone on the day, ending the six hour session with 117 tours and a final speed of 221.029mph. However despite the seemingly disappointing drop down the timesheets from day one, Alonso would set the 14th quickest time of those not benefitting from the slipstream of other cars, third fastest of his stablemates in the Andretti team.

    So with two solid days behind him, and with day three already underway at Indianapolis, do you think Alonso has a realistic chance of taking home the silverware at the end of the race this May 28th? Tell us what you think below!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  2. Edward Mowinckel

    Edward Mowinckel
    Call me Ed. Edward is okay, too. Premium

    Messages:
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    I mean a realistic chance as in rooted in the sensibilities of special relativity?


    A chance rooted in the whatever the hell is possible in the quantum world?
     
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  3. chargingcar

    chargingcar

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    Maybe he can , His talents are staggering ,
    But not with a Honda :roflmao:
     
  4. Jimlaad43

    Jimlaad43
    Nice apex, I'll take it! Staff Premium

    Messages:
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    He can, whether he will or not is a different matter.
     
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  5. Frank

    Frank
    Administrator Staff Premium

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    In the Indy 500 anything is possible and anyone driving in the top 6 can be the winner at the last few laps.
     
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  6. aphidgod

    aphidgod
    'bout to cut some sh-- up with my crab hand. Premium

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    Can he? Yes, absolutely. Will he? Not certain.
     
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  7. Qazdar Karim

    Qazdar Karim

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    This is not really a "skill" race, it's more about luck and pit stops ... i might be wrong :D
     
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  8. Boby Kim

    Boby Kim
    There is no spoon...

    Messages:
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    +313
    Yes he can but that also apply's for the 32 other drivers:inlove:.
    Alonso: May the force be with u:thumbsup:
     
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  9. Blackmarch7

    Blackmarch7

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    First, there is mistake; Indy 500 has no podium except win. 2nd is called as "fastest loser".

    I guess Alonso may run fast... but he can't win. because my favorite Alex Rossi will win.
     
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  10. walken

    walken

    Messages:
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    +24
    JPM
     
    • Love Love x 2
  11. CaLu_RW

    CaLu_RW

    Messages:
    20
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    +1
    He surely can win the 500. Whether he'll do so remains to be seen.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Glen vw

    Glen vw

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    Is there a chance he can win? sure..... staying out of trouble is job #1. With the close proximity side by side oval racing you can be taken out by someone else's mistake rather quickly (some luck involved here). Clean pit stops and of course a solid fuel/tire (mostly fuel at this track) strategy, If Alonso can manage to be around 6-8 the last few laps there is a chance. No matter what happens he has brought a lot of new eyes to Indycar and the 500.

    Oh, did I mention some luck :)
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  13. Rob

    Rob
    XBO: OctoberDusk06

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    Not really the right question. It's much more driver, and luck, dependent. Maybe 70/30 I'd say. That's why Rossi won. He had skill AND Brian Herta. I think Brian is with Fernando this year. That's very important. Key. So yea, he has a chance, but also the same chance of meeting the concrete wall. I think he's happy though, and to me it's already a win.
     
  14. Matt Orr

    Matt Orr

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    Poor choice of poll answers.

    I predict he will do precisely what another guy who never drove an IndyCar until the 500 in this same formula in this same team managed years ago : he'll run 10th to 15th all day, keep it clean, maybe scoop up a few spots and finish well. (Kurt finished 6th after a late race wreck took out a few in front of him) ... And despite the fact Kurt Busch had no open wheel experience, he's one of the most raw talented oval races out there - so I'd call it a wash between what I'd expect from Fernando and Kurt.

    The field is probably more in Fernando's favor given Honda's slight advantage vs the more or less equal 2014 field, so I'd figure he'd be around the top 10 if not inside it. But again, he damn well better be in an Andretti car at Indy.

    I mean, friggin' Townsend Bell was competitive at the front with them last year even though he drives sportscars and commentates rather than drives IndyCars... Well he did... but he wasn't exactly a special talent even in his prime.

    I just don't see how - barring an extraordinary set of events such as what happened last year (and it was a LOT more than "just saving fuel" that went into Rossi winning) - a inexperienced driver can pull it off with Indy the way it is today. The field is just too close, getting the in race adjustments slightly wrong or not keeping up with the track changes is easy to do. His first live pit stop in the race is going to be one hell of a awkward experience...

    Those pits derailed the rusty Townsend Bell and Ryan Hunter Reay last year... That wasn't "bad luck".
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  15. Rob

    Rob
    XBO: OctoberDusk06

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    What a great post. You know your IndyCar!
    I'd add that, knowing what I know about that race, I'm a bit scared of a crash with the world watching. I know what that track can do. But I'm not sure the world does. Hoping for the best though.
     
  16. Kevin Pheiffer

    Kevin Pheiffer

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    The way his luck is going now, he will break down on the warmup lap. :D
     
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  17. Slyfrequency

    Slyfrequency
    Premium

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    Anyone can win, just because Alonso has came from F1 doesn't mean he can win his first race. Newgarden or Hunter Raey for me!
     
  18. Akra

    Akra
    Premium

    Messages:
    159
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    No. But I don't think that's through lack of skill, talent or ambition. I just think it'll take a little longer, and maybe a full season IndyCar drive to do it. He has all the required talent to do it, but I don't see it happening on his first try after only being in an IndyCar for a short time.
     
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  19. Coffer

    Coffer

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    Low chance, but he's good enough that it can't be discarded easily. Rossi did it, but Rossi had a lot more time to get used to it at least.
     
  20. Brandon Wright

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

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    HPD Honda is very different from the Honda being used in F1, they've been pretty strong most of the season so far and are generally considered to be the favorites at Indy.

    You're both right and wrong, there's a lot of luck involved and a lot of skill and racecraft is needed too.

    No, Herta is with Marco this year. Michael is with Alonso (see first picture below). I was able to sneak out of work a bit early and go down to watch him run for a bit, he signed my program.
    IMG_5466.jpg IMG_5467.jpg
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    IMG_5410.jpg IMG_5452.jpg

    Mario Andretti on the golf cart in the background.
    IMG_5461.jpg
     
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