Andretti, Hunter-Reay 1-2 for second session in a row at Milwaukee

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From the redundancy department, Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay were once again 1-2 in practice two for the IZOD IndyCar Series’ Milwaukee IndyFest. The Andretti Autosport teammates also led this morning’s session, at slower speeds.

Temperatures were warmer this afternoon (73 ambient, 106 track compared to 66 and 87 this morning, per Firestone Racing). Andretti’s best lap this afternoon was 168.534 mph, with Hunter-Reay and Takuma Sato also in the 168 range. Dario Franchitti took last year’s pole position at 168.737 mph.

E.J. Viso and Scott Dixon completed the top five, with Helio Castroneves, Justin Wilson, James Jakes, Alex Tagliani and 2006 Milwaukee winner Sebastien Bourdais rounding out the top 10.

Franchitti just missed the top 10 in P11, Will Power was just 17th, with series returnees Ryan Briscoe (16th) and Ana Beatriz (19th) down the charts in this session.

The field was much more spread out this session. More than eight tenths (0.8573) separated spots 1-22, with Charlie Kimball and Ed Carpenter more than a second off the pace.

Qualifying occurs at 4:15 p.m. CT (5:15 p.m. ET), and you can see qualifying coverage at 7 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

Alonso would be ‘very happy’ to finish F1 career with McLaren

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Fernando Alonso says he would be “very happy” to see out his Formula 1 career with McLaren after signing a new multi-year contract with the British team, announced on Thursday.

Alonso, 36, ended speculation about his future by agreeing a new deal with McLaren, hopeful of returning to the front of the field next year when the team swaps Honda power for Renault engines.

Alonso admitted to considering options outside of F1 before agreeing to stay at McLaren, and was thought to only be chasing a one-year extension in order to be in a position to snap up a more attractive seat in the volatile 2019 market.

However, Alonso confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the deal with McLaren stretched beyond the end of next year, adding he would be content to see out his time in the sport with the team.

“I never talk about contracts, but one thing I can say is it is a long-term partnership,” Alonso said.

“I am very happy to finish my career at McLaren. So I don’t think it is going to be only one year.”

Alonso also revealed he had options with teams high up the field in F1 for 2018 just a couple of months ago, but was always leaning to staying at McLaren despite not scoring a podium with the team in almost three years.

“There were some other options in F1. In the summer there were still some options at the top teams, but my desire was to stay with McLaren,” Alonso said.

“But at that time they were in conversation with different engine suppliers, so I had to give them time to sort out their situation.

“Then McLaren opted for a Renault engine which delayed my decision, because I had to understand what Renault’s plans were for next years.

“But when I had everything on the table, everything was pretty clear.”