INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Fernando Alonso has been forced to take it slow in order to pass his Indianapolis 500 "Refresher Test” before he was allowed to turn it loose on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.
Alonso easily passed that final phase with 10 laps over 215 mph, but he never got a chance to turn it loose later in the day.
The two-time Formula One World Champion from Spain was prepared to develop a baseline setup on his car during Tuesday’s "Opening Day” practice session for the 103rdIndianapolis 500.
Instead, an electronic issue sent his McLaren Chevrolet back to the Gasoline Alley Garages.
He completed 50 laps around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval but without full power from his engine, his best lap was 224.162 miles per hour. That was 32nd fastest out of 39 car/driver combinations that turned laps.
Compare that to the fastest speed of the day when defending Indy 500 winner Will Power went 229.745 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet.
There are 36 car/driver combinations entered in the race. The extra three car/driver combination laps came when drivers shook down the race setup for their teammates, such as James Hinchcliffe in the No. 60 Honda for Jack Harvey at Meyer Shank Racing.
According to McLaren officials, Alonso was frustrated at the lack of track time on a beautiful day in Indianapolis.
The 39-year-old left the track without speaking to the media, but that was part of McLaren’s plan to "lay low” on Opening Day.