Fernando Alonso: It was a very positive and productive day

17 May 2017 11:39

Formula One's double world champion Fernando Alonso is optimistic he will be ready for the challenge of the Indianapolis 500 after completing 117 laps at the Brickyard on Tuesday.

Alonso, who will miss the Monaco Grand Prix a week on Sunday to participate in the 500-mile race, was 24th in the order.

Alonso's average speed at the 2.5-mile oval circuit was 221.029mph - more than 3mph slower than the best lap set by Australian Will Power.

The 35-year-old Spaniard will take part in three further practice days at the superspeedway this week before qualifying, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday, and the race itself next weekend.

"It was a very positive and productive day with 117 laps, and a lot of learning with some group running in traffic, so information I will sleep on and be a better oval driver tomorrow," Alonso said.

"We did not put everything together because it's not time to. We keep experimenting on the set-up and running in traffic, but I think we will arrive quite okay for qualifying and the race."

Alonso, who will be replaced by Jenson Button for next week's Monte Carlo race, focused on running in traffic on Tuesday - an integral feature of oval racing.

"It felt okay and as I expected," Alonso added. "Obviously here it is very important to keep close to the car in front of you and to take the benefit on the next straight, so it was useful.

"I am on the best team for that. We have six cars and we were running together so my team-mates were amazing in helping me. I knew that they were taking care of me in some moments of the run, so that was good.

"It was the first time for me - following them and learning every lap when I follow - what they do, how they attack the next corner or the next lap and how they prepare for overtaking. It was very useful."

Source: PA