Indy 500: Fernando Alonso begins quest in practice and qualifying

Fernando Alonso’s third attempt to win the Indianapolis 500 and complete motorsport’s Triple Crown has begun ahead of qualifying for the US racing showpiece this weekend.

With the Indy 500 programme for 2020 condensed and rescheduled from its usual ‘Month of May’ slot due to the coronavirus pandemic, all the track action at the famous Brickyard is taking place over the next 10 days – until the showpiece race itself on Sunday, August 23.

Fernando Alonso Indy 500







But McLaren have ramped up their IndyCar programme to a full-time effort in 2020, joining forces with one of the series’ long-established teams in Schmidt Peterson to form Arrow McLaren SP.

With the 39-year-old returning to F1 next season on a two-year deal with Renault, Alonso said earlier this week that this will be his final attempt at the Indy 500 before at least 2023.

Practice began on Thursday and, after taking part in a refresher session earlier in the day, Alonso was fifth quickest during full practice with a best speed of 223.238.

Practice continues on Thursday, Friday – which is dubbed ‘Fast Friday’ as teams and drivers run lower downforce to gear up for qualifying – and into Saturday morning.

The field includes British trio Jack Harvey, Max Chilton and Ben Hanley.

Unlike last year when both Alonso and Chilton missed out on the race itself, there is no last-row shootout this time as 33 cars have been entered for the 33 starting berths.

The 104th running of the Indy 500 is behind closed doors for the first time.

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