Fernando Alonso, IndyCar, Barber Motorsports Park, 2018

Alonso tests 2018-spec IndyCar at Barber

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Fernando Alonso said his first test in a 2018-specification IndyCar on a road course was “something special”.

The test at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama took place in mixed weather. “I’ve been lucky enough to test it in wet conditions, in intermediate conditions and in dry conditions, so overall I had a good feeling on every type of track,” said Alonso. “The weather was good for us today – a little bit of wind in the afternoon but overall a positive day.”

It was his first time driving on the 3.7-kilometre, 15-turn circuit which will hold the third round of next year’s championship.

Alonso drove the Andretti team’s car 29, which is the same number he used for his single appearance in the championship to date in last year’s Indianapolis 500. He said he originally planned to schedule this test to take place after that race.

“It was something that I was looking for last year already,” he said. “I had some options to test the car on a road course after the Indy 500. We didn’t find the time but this year it’s definitely happened now and I’m happy for this.

“I love being behind a steering wheel, and definitely a new car, a new experience, learning a lot of things from the team, the engineers, everyone, so a happy day.”

The 37-year-old, who will leave Formula 1 at the end of the season, is evaluating a full-time move into the championship as he pursues a victory in the Indianapolis 500.

Last weekend Alonso said he had not made a decision on how much, if any, of the championship he wants to participate in. “I can do the full series, I can do one race, I can do nothing. I will study all the possibilities.”

This article will be updated.

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Fernando Alonso, IndyCar, Barber Motorsports Park, 2018
Fernando Alonso, IndyCar, Barber Motorsports Park, 2018

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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  • 37 comments on “Alonso tests 2018-spec IndyCar at Barber”

    1. I sincerely hope he does the full Indycar season. I’ve enjoyed watching him adapt to other disciplines beyond F1 (Indy 500, WEC) and I’m curious to see what he could do with a full season. I bet with some luck he could be contending for the championship, or would at least see a few podiums.

      1. Alonso = legend

        If he does Indy I will be watching every race.

          1. I already watch every race but can’t say I’m hugely invested in it, but just as with his appearance in the 500, FA’s presence would enhance my interest and attention bigtime.

            1. Same here. The last time I watched American series was when I was following Emerson Fittipaldi in the early 90s, so a driver like Alonso will be a huge motivation.

        1. Indycar has been better than F1 in many ways this year. The cars can pass, strategies can be used to make it possible for any driver to win, not just a few. Of course, the best find a way, but in F1, you often wonder what would be possible if more that a few drivers ever had a shot a pole or race wins.

          Indycar used to rival F1, then Tony George ruined it all, now slowly, they are coming back to past glory.
          Great Tracks, international drivers, good looking cars again ( thankfully last years cars are history ).

          I am a true race fanatic, and F1 is king, but they have a lot to correct if they wish to stay king.
          They already lost Rossi, who is as good as many thought, but he could never show it previously. Now Alonso is headed to America. Good for racing in general to put a great driver in a car that can win again.

          Looking down the list of great drivers in F1 and Indy, F1 has too many unproven drivers who haven’t earned the right to drive at the pinacle of the sport, as long as this is the case, F1 can never be as great as it once was, because to be the best, you need the best product, drivers, etc.

          Last point, Monza has to be lengthened, 1hour and 15 minutes for a race is ridiculously too short. That is a sprint, not a race.

          1. I think that the more Indy goes back to being more like CART, and less like NASCAR, the more they’ll be able to attract a worldwide audience. I am totally biased in my view, but I do feel that many fans like me feel disdain for some of the kitschiness that in the pass has been integral part of American categories. That being said after watching a couple of Indy races in the last year, I feel Indy is headed in the right direction. Evidenced by the talent they are attracting and retaining.

            I really hope Alonso does Indy, I want to give Indy a chance. I’d love to be fan of the series.

      2. I will preface this by saying I am an Alonso fan, and a motor racing fan. I was a motor racing fan first.

        I think he really HAS to commit to a full season, if only to justify the hype that will surround him joining the series. Also i think just doing a few “Big” races would be a little disingenuous to the regular Indy drivers who are racing for a championship rather than the “Triple Crown”. I would love to see him run the series and compete for the title.

      3. @partsguy20 ‘Luck’ being the operative word, IndyCar races are always a strategy lottery!

    2. Just don’t get yourself killed.

      1. Yup, no lie, I’d be sweating it, if he did ovals.

        1. He did race at Indy500 last year missing Monaco GP in process.

          1. should have added all season long, and more than 1 race..

        2. Rossi loves the ovals, never below 200mph all day. Always knew he could compete on road courses, but ovals are a different animal altogether. Crazy fast. 240mph on straights, 215 into turns, back to 240, but for 500 miles, not sub 200miles as most F1 races.

          F1 needs some variety in race lengths, watching these guys crawl out of a car after 500 miles, it brings out another lever in a driver that a sprint just can never do. You hit a physical and mental wall, then must continue with accuracy and speed.

      2. Max Chilton didn’t. Why would he?

      3. You can get yourself killed in f1 too f1 fan

    3. I mean, kinda unrelated really, but I love the colours of the car.

      1. @rocketpanda It was run by Carlos Munoz in this year’s Indianapolis 500:

        https://www.racefans.net/2018/09/05/pictures-alonso-tests-indycar-barber/racefansdotnet-20180905-223712-1/

        As you can imagine I rather like the combination of blue and green too. Maybe needs a RaceFans logo on there as well…

        1. @keithcollantine @rocketpanda Is it just me or does that logo look a lot like Massa-era Sauber?

          1. livery. I mean livery.

    4. Very cool to see him in such different livery! If McLaren joins it’ll be papaya. If not and he joins Andretti, it could be any color combination.

    5. Nothing wrong with the look of that car.
      Simple yet elegant- not as busy as F1 cars. I like it.

      1. To me, there’s just about everything wrong with that monocoque, from the upright seating position to the top line from the tip of the nose cone to the front of the cockpit template being almost straight, to the F310-style bulgy headrests.

        Put this 2018 car next to a mid- to late-90s Reynard and watch this 20+-year-old design look more modern. Put it next to a decade-old DP01 and weep.

        But sure, they had to work with what they had because ultimately, the one thing all Indycar team bosses have in common is that they are cheap, and designing a new tub only 6 or 7 years after that old clunker was done was totally out of the question. But Indycar did do a decent job with the looks of their 2018 aero kit.

        1. Looks are secondary in my opinion. Good, fair racing carries more weight than a parade of good looking cars in a dog and pony procession.

          1. @larry

            Sure, looks aren’t everything, and good racing is a laudable goal for any series. It’s just that this current car is so obviously the result of a spec series tender that I personally can’t overlook its faults.

            In any sort of competitive environment, this car wouldn’t have even made it to the initial design review. And I can’t imagine a set of rules that would define a car which would result in this specific design being the highest-performing one, except maybe if you defined every single existing surface as-is.

            When compared to other spec series efforts like GP2 / F2, Super Formula, or the last Champcar, the DP01, the current Indycar is remarkably far off contemporary monocoque designs and hence sticks out like a sore thumb.

            1. I see your point but calling them faults is a bit of a stretch.
              Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – I’ll leave it at that.

    6. he truly does look happy.. well done, it’s about time.

    7. If Alonso does a full season, I’d like to see Kubica go there too (if he doesn’t get an f1 drive). Would be cool seeing 2 top f1 drivers at laguna seca in great looking open wheelers.

      1. Great suggestion!

    8. @Ed. Yeah. But have you seen how fast Max is…..

    9. I wonder how long until the first super scandal erupts from the FA Indy 500 camp

      1. Naw – it’s a different game over here. F1 is a bureaucratic, back stabbing environment that can’t get out of their own way.
        More down to earth over here. He will thrive if he decides to come to Indy car.

        1. Thanks for the insight Larry.

          We have to admit ALO does have the ability to turn anything on it’s head though. But having said that perhaps change will be good for him.

    10. It’s amazing what Alonso has done this last two years outside F1. Wish him luck, he deserves to be remembered as one of the best, period. I hope he gets the triple crown.

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