Alonso's Indy 500 preparation to "ramp up bigtime"

Fernando Alonso’s driver coach, 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran, says the Spaniard’s preparation for the race will “ramp up big time” in the next 48 hours.

Alonso's Indy 500 preparation to "ramp up bigtime"
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda talks to Gil de Ferran
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda, checks the car with Gil de Ferran
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda

Alonso completed three days of practice at Indianapolis prior to today’s running and made good progress, improving his best lap to a mark of 224.641mph early on in Thursday practice. 

But with qualifying taking place on Saturday and Sunday, and subsequent practice sessions only on the following Monday and Friday’s Carb Day, time pressures will come into play.

“It’s been a great experience so far, but it’s going to ramp up big time over the next couple of days,” de Ferran told Motorsport.com. 

“The weather expectation for the next few days is not particularly great, so today is an important day.

“These are challenges that this type of racing puts in front of you. You have to go through so much and you think you have all this time, then all of a sudden you don’t.

“When you think you are all under control, you are like ‘oh my god I’m not as in control as I thought I was’.”

De Ferran has been impressed with Alonso’s progress and approach so far at Indianapolis. But he refused to judge where the two-times Formula 1 world champion is in his development curve.

“The speed is definitely there,” said de Ferran. “But I’m not judging 'Are we doing worse or better than expected?' I’m just thinking ‘this is the problem right now, let’s tackle it’.

“You just have to focus on getting the job done and meeting each individual challenge as they come. Of course, you have a plan, but sometimes you have unexpected things and you have to adapt and stay focused.”

De Ferran added that Alonso is proving to be a fast learner at Indianapolis.

Throughout the opening week of practice, Alonso has stressed the need to learn the art of running at Indianapolis, with running in traffic one of his priorities. 

“He’s just a very interested guy, he wants to understand everything,” said de Ferran. “He wants to understand every aspect of what it takes to do well around here, and he’s a quick learner.

“Fernando has a very good feel, and a very fast mind. So you expose him to different situations and he is very able to pick it up.”

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