Alonso's target for the Indy 500 is to 'enjoy the moment'
May 28 2017 by Joanne Wise
Alonso, the twice Formula One world champion who is skipping the Monaco Grand Prix to chase Indy 500 glory, has provided a captivating storyline that has dominated the build-up to Monday's (NZ time) race. He starts on the outside of the front row.
Scott Dixon, a four-time IndyCar series champion who the Indy 500 in 2008, took the pole position with an average qualifying speed of 232.164 miles per hour. But for the third time in those four years, a driver once projected as IndyCar's next big thing has only the Indy 500 slated for his schedule.
The Spaniard is set to start from fifth on Sunday and apart from more fans pouring in, reports say that at least 150 new credential requests from global media members have come in exclusively to cover Alonso's running at the Indy 500.
When asked what he would define as a successful race come Monday morning, he said: "I think enjoy the race, enjoy the moment, leave that moment.it's a race you can not plan, so I don't have any plans or clear expectations".
Andretti thinks Alonso's positive demeanour shows how much he is relishing the prospect of going into a race he has a good chance of winning.
"It's something we're doing as part of our larger motor racing programme to deliver for our partners", he said.
"You can really see it in him, he's got a new energy here, he's really happy, he's always smiling, which we haven't really seen from him for a while because he's been working hard but not having the result whereas here he's already had a good result, he's qualified on the second-row in his rookie year".
"I have to say, the last 2 years of qualifying has been very intense", said Power.
"You respect the place, respect the speed".
"What he's gonna learn is that mistakes are punished". Yes, I'm a casual fan of IndyCar but I'm a ginormous fan of the month of May in Indianapolis. But I can not be frustrated at the end of the race, I can not be sad at the end of the race because the whole event has been a fantastic experience.
French driver Sebastien Bourdais found that out during Saturday's qualifying session suffering multiple fractures to his pelvis and his right hip after his auto plowed into the wall at Turn 2. For a man who has been in the spotlight so long, he makes it look like it's just another day at the office - but this race means so much more.
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"I think clearly he's getting the most awareness right now".
"They're quality guys. It wouldn't surprise me".
Alonso has experienced a frustrating F1 season so far, with McLaren sitting bottom of the team rankings.
"I enjoyed it and I tapped the barrier a couple of times".
"You feel the auto very loose. we've been practicing that with the team, trying to create our own groups because we are six cars", Alonso said.
Alonso, on the other hand, says that it is possible he will not even return to do the Indy 500 in future.
"You will not know until the cars leave Turn 4 on the last lap who has got it - they might be racing to the line!"
This year however, things are a little different and that's all down to two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.
"Indy is a odd beast", Villeneuve says.
FORD: Do you have any pre race rituals or superstitions? It could go his way. "The Andretti team have done that in the past are they are very good at having the extra auto and making that extra vehicle run fast".
Andretti Autosport landed a fifth driver in the top 10 when 2014 Indy 500 victor Ryan Hunter-Reay led Group 1 qualifying to determine race starting positions 10 through 33. "If it just overtook me, I couldn't do my job to the best of my abilities".
"Kicked me out for three days", Karam said, laughing.