One race in IndyCar was apparently not enough for Fernando Alonso.
The 2017 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year and former two-time Formula 1 champion spent much of Wednesday testing another Indy car at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Alabama.
The 37-year-old Spaniard took part in the test driving for Andretti Autosport, the same team he drove for in the Indy 500, when he was in contention for winning until late-race engine problems knocked him out with 21 laps remaining.
Wednesday marked the first time Alonso has driven an IndyCar on a track other than Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Alonso has already announced he will end his F1 career after this season and is leaving his motorsports options open in the future. He is heavily rumored to race in IndyCar next season, further bolstered obviously by Wednesday’s test, which worked out scheduling wise because the next F1 race is not until the Singapore Grand Prix on Sept. 16.
It has not been revealed whether Alonso will have any additional Indy car tests in the next few months.
Courtesy of IndyCar.com, here is a brief question-and-answer session with Alonso during the test:
Q: Talk a little bit about your experience today. You kind of got experience with two things in the car: wet, a little bit wet and dry, right?
“Yeah, it was a good day, a fun day. I love to test new cars and to test the Indy car on a road course is something special. I’ve been lucky enough to test it in wet conditions, in intermediate conditions and in dry conditions, so overall I had a good feeling on every type of track. The weather was good for us today – a little bit of wind in the afternoon but overall a positive day.”
Q: You’ve now driven on a superspeedway and a road course. Which one do you prefer?
“Probably my instinct will tell me road course because it’s what I’ve been used to doing all my life, but the Indy 500 was an amazing experience, so 50/50. I think I love the way the car feels on a road course, but I love the way you compete on ovals, timing the tows, traffic and all the overtaking maneuvers I think are a little bit easy on the ovals, so in terms of track action, I loved the Indy 500.”
Q: Do you call this kind of a bucket list item for you just getting to drive different things and new experiences?
“Yeah, definitely. It was something that I was looking for last year already. I had some options to test the car on a road course after the Indy 500. We didn’t find the time but this year it’s definitely happened now and I’m happy for this. I love being behind a steering wheel, and definitely a new car, a new experience, learning a lot of things from the team, the engineers, everyone, so a happy day.”