Alonso expects traffic to be biggest challenge in maiden Indy 500

INDYCAR
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Fernando Alonso believes that negotiating traffic will be the biggest challenge he faces when he makes his debut at the Indianapolis 500 later this month with McLaren Honda Andretti.

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso stunned the motorsport world by announcing his entry to the ‘500 last month, opting to skip the Monaco Grand Prix on May 28.

The Spaniard enjoyed his first test in an Indy car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, completing the Rookie Orientation Program and setting an impressive pace.

Alonso will get his first true taste of pack racing on the day of the race itself, and expects his toughest task to be dipping through traffic when lapping cars.

“It’s going to be probably the biggest challenge, running on traffic. I think there are a couple of things that I’m definitely not up to speed,” Alonso said.

“One is the traffic thing, I think we need to go step by step. Today was just running alone and try to feel the car, the circuit and all the things that are involved with this technique.

“Second will be setting up the car. The guys, they make constant changes to the car. One on the steering wheel while running, and those on the pit lane, those tiny changes, tuning the car perfectly on the week for the qualifying and then doing the same on the race, and sometimes also on the pit stops, getting up to speed until the last part of the race.

“So on that aspect, I am not up to speed. I am not able at the moment to feel the car or the small changes that we can make to the car, because I’m not driving the car. The car is driving myself around at the moment.

“So things that, you know, we need to hopefully learn in the first days of free practice and, you know, as I said many times, I’m with the best team possible for that.

“Even for the traffic thing, we are six cars. So we will make sure that I will arrive ready on Sunday 28th with a lot of laps behind cars.”