INDIANAPOLIS – Andretti Autosport has a detailed plan on how they’re going to help Fernando Alonso get up to speed. First, it was getting as comfortable as he can be by himself. Then, it was graduating to running with just a few cars. After that, it was running with a bigger group.
On Monday afternoon, the team had hoped to be able to run all six Andretti Autosport cars together. Unfortunately, Jack Harvey had a drive line issue forcing him into the outside SAFER barrier in Turn 2 as a result of his car not turning.
Then, Alonso’s No. 29 Honda had a suspension issue allowing him on 20 laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday. All were by himself.
Today, after a handful of lap to get back up to speed, it was game on.
“It was good, it was good, very positive and productive day,” Alonso said after completing 117 laps on Tuesday, most among all drivers. “We did a lot of laps – 117 laps today I think – a lot of learning, some group running, finally with some traffic. So, it is information I will sleep on and be a better oval driver tomorrow.”
Alonso, spent move of his time around the famed 2.5-mile oval running in traffic. They would do race sims to get him as comfortable as he can be running around cars. He felt it was everything he thought it would be.
“It felt OK, it felt as I expected,” the Spaniard said about running in traffic “Obviously, here it’s very important to keep close to the car in front of you, to take the benefit from the next straight. It was useful. I’m on the best team for that; we are six cars and we were running together. My teammates were amazing (in) helping me. I knew they were taking care of me in some moments of the run, so that was good and yeah, first time for me. (I was) learning every lap here and there, you know, when I follow them, learning what they do, how they attack the next corner or the next lap, how they prepare the overtaking, so, it was very useful and a very productive day.”
Alonso, has completed 137 laps in two days with a top speed of 223.025 mph. Tomorrow, it’s a safe bet he’s going to see even more work.