Fernando Alonso already started his Indycar 500 preparation. The Spanish driver visited Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama during the weekend, attending the race there, which was one by Josef Newgarden (Team Penske). He gave a press conference and had interview sessions. And Alonso explained that his desire to participate in the Indy 500 is the result of his desire to grow up as a driver.
“Four or five years ago I started thinking about how to grow up as a driver and become a little bit a more complete driver. To do so I think you need to win the best races in the world. The most prestigious races in the world. How to achieve that I think is Formula 1, Indy 500, 24 Hours Le Mans, which is called the ‘Triple Crown’”, Fernando said.
“That target – a very ambitious target because only one man in history (Graham Hill) did it– was quite attractive at the time. But I didn’t think it was possible to attempt another race apart from Formula One until I was retired from Formula One.”
“So to make it happen now, this year, is something that makes me very proud of my team and very happy because I will have the first attempt.”
Six (count them, SIX)! Say it with us now… Is it May yet?! #IndyCar #Indy500 #McLarenIndy #LetsGoRacing pic.twitter.com/9IbdBo6w6y
— Andretti Autosport (@FollowAndretti) 23 April 2017
According to Alonso his participation will be a precedent in the history as he will have very little time for preparation:
“This is quite a unique thing, I’m aware of it. I’m aware of the difficult. All of the fans are aware of it. But if you love motorsport I think it’s good news. We’ll see on the 29th, Monday, what is the situation, how much I enjoyed the experience, how competitive I felt, whether I had fun which is the priority for me. I do this because I love racing cars, I love driving the fastest cars.”
“The name of Indy 500 is the biggest race in the world. It’s very attractive to race it, to enjoy and feel that unique experience. Everyone is telling me it’s a unique atmosphere and a very intense day. So after that I think wherever, despite the result we will achieve on Sunday we will think together what is the future from that point.”
“If I want to be the most complete, the best driver in the world and win all the series in different cars with different driving techniques that I need to adapt, I need to grow up as a driver”
“I need to win it, if I want to do that . If it’s not this year we will plan it for the next attempt.”
This week Fernando will drive in the F1 Russian Grand prix before his home race in Spain.
“Sochi Autodrom is an interesting circuit – a mixture of challenges, and ones which I think will be tackled quite differently this year with the new regulations for 2017”, he pointed out. “For example, Turn Three last year used to be tricky and you needed to be very precise. It’s a multi-apex left-hander. That means good car balance and control are important to not get out of shape mid-corner. This year, though, it will likely be taken flat, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the feeling in the car has changed around this circuit.”
“There are two long, slightly-curved straights and high-speed corners, which means this circuit will be challenging for us with the package we have”
“But our car is also very well-balanced. So I hope we can get the most out of the many 90-degree corners that make this circuit so unique. Although it’s technically a city circuit. It’s pretty fast overall and the track itself is wide. So it usually provides close racing and good overtaking opportunities.”
“A positive result for us in Sochi will be to finish the race with both cars, first of all. We’ve suffered a few reliability issues over the past couple of weekends. I followed the test in Bahrain and I’m pleased that we were able to secure a lot of valuable data from both the car and the power unit. And I know everyone at McLaren-Honda is working hard to put that to good use to aid our progress as quickly as possible. The season is long. But there isn’t much time between races – especially fly-aways – for development. So the laps we managed on the final day of the test were a big positive for us. And hopefully will be beneficial to us over the next few races.”
Fernando’s first #Indy test confirmed. @alo_oficial will drive the McLaren-Honda-Andretti on May 3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. pic.twitter.com/HHUh1s9uXs
— McLarenHondaAndretti (@McLarenIndy) 21 April 2017