Alonso Is Fastest Rookie at Indy 500 Practice
Alonso's teammate, Marco Andretti, was quickest overall.
The first practice for the Indy 500 occurred on Monday. It served as the first real test of Fernando Alonso's ability to literally get up to speed with the series' regulars.
In short order, he did.
Alonso was quickest of the four rookies. He covered 35 laps with a top average speed of 221.634 mph around the 2.5-mile oval. He was also quickest overall in his group, which included both rookies and those who needed a refresher course at the storied track. Some of the others in that group were Oriol Servia, Ed Jones, and Sebastian Saavadra.
After the the rookie and refreshers running in early in the day, everyone took to the track in afternoon. Alonso was able to go a little faster while covering 20 more laps. Some suspension issues cut his running short, but he finished the day with a speed of 223.025 mph. That was good enough to rank him 19th out of the 32 cars.
Marco Andretti topped the time sheets, with an average speed of 226.338 mph. Andretti was slightly more than a second faster than Scott Dixon's second fastest lap of the day. This bodes well for Andretti and the other five Andretti Autosport entries, which includes Alonso.
In IndyCar, unlike Formula One, there is typically a lot of data sharing and assistance given from driver to driver in the same team. Over the course of the next practice days, they'll be able to run different programs and set-ups on the six cars. With all that data to draw from, Andretti Autosport is off to a great start by having a fast car on day one.
Practice continues Tuesday, starting at 12pm ET and can be live-streamed here.