Fernando Alonso, McLaren, IndyCar, Texas Motor Speedway, 2019

“Pure adrenaline”: Alonso begins Indy 500 preparations with Texas test


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Fernando Alonso began his preparations to tackle next month’s Indianapolis 500 by shaking down one of McLaren’s chassis at Texas Motor Speedway yesterday.

The two-times world champion is bidding to emulate Graham Hill by winning next month’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and completing a ‘Triple Crown’ of successes in the Monaco Grand Prix at Le Mans 24 Hours.

Alonso described his first run in the car as “Pure adrenaline.”

“Happy with our first day, and thanks to all the McLaren Indy team for today,” he added.

As well as breaking in the new chassis, Alonso has some changes to adjust to since he last race at Indianapolis two years ago. The championship has overhauled the aerodynamics on the standard Dallara DW12 IndyCar raced by all 33 entrants. And Alonso has switched from Honda power to Chevrolet.

The Texas Motor Speedway is the second-fastest circuit on the IndyCar calendar after IMS. However the tri-oval layout, with its much more steeply banked corners, is markedly different to the flatter, four-turn, 1.7-kilometre longer Indianapolis layout.

Robert Fernley, the former Force India deputy team principal who has joined McLaren to run its IndyCar programme, was among those present at the test.

McLaren has purchased two IndyCars for Alonso’s entry into the race, one of which will serve as his spare. The second car was presented at the team’s factory earlier this week and will be freighted to Indianapolis ahead of the first group test on April 24th.

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Pictures: Fernando Alonso tests McLaren IndyCar at Texas Motor Speedway

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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...

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18 comments on ““Pure adrenaline”: Alonso begins Indy 500 preparations with Texas test”

  1. I hope he gets a reliable engine this time around that doesn’t blow up few laps before end.

    1. Fingers crossed… at least it’s not a Honda this time.

      1. robinsonf1 (@)
        10th April 2019, 9:48

        The Honda has already had some issues this seasons in Indycar as well. Thank goodness he switched!

        1. lucky him, it isn’t like a Honda won in the year he retired, uff…

          1. Even if Honda had a 5 second a lap advantage on Chevy , it’s of no use if it still has a habit of going bang when a certain Spaniard is behind the wheel.

      2. Hopefully it will be a success!

  2. I miss Robert ‘Bob’ Fernley in the F1 pitlanes and paddocks.

  3. It bugs me that the monocoque is in different shade of orange than the rest of the car

    1. ??? I don’t see that. Look at the second to last photo.

      1. Look at where the nose ends, and between the monocoque and the sidepods.

        Headrest is also the supposed colour, look just next to it

        1. Dont’t be too concerned. You won’t be able to distinguish the difference in colors at 230 mph. And if he wins and the car is sitting in victory lane, you probably won’t notice either.

          1. still, annoys me

  4. It seems very “on-brand” for McLaren to change Bob Fernley’s name to Robert Fernley…

  5. Time to go buy me a pack of Camels

  6. Honda power will win

    1. Like at the Rolex 24 when he beat those Honda’s…err…Acura’s with a Cadillac engine no less

  7. Cool pics! Thanks for sharing them.

  8. Just looking at Alonso’s testing schedule is so impressive. In a space of 3 months he has tested the Toyota Hilux Dakar machine, McLaren MCL34 Formula 1 car and now the McLaren Dallara DW12 Chevrolet IndyCar! This is taking versatility to the next level. And all this on top of winning the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring. Leaving Formula 1 has been great for him.

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