Fernando Alonso departs Spain for Indy 500 practice

Paola Ditto
Mag 15, 2017

Alonso even gave a shout-out to his hardworking but ultimately hobbled team after qualifying.

Alonso, who will skip the May 28 Monaco Grand Prix to compete in the Indy 500 on the same day in two weeks' time, had seized the headlines on Friday when his Honda-powered vehicle broke down at the start of practice.

"We can't pass on the straight so we stayed behind him and from there the race was more complicated".

But overnight work on a progressive auto that has been let down by its power unit paid dividends on Saturday for the two-time champion who is set to miss the Monaco Grand Prix later this month.

While he described qualifying seventh as "a surprise", he said the improved vehicle gave him confidence to attack. The Spaniard endured a frustrating race from that to 12th.

His 12th place was still Alonso's first race finish of 2017 and McLaren's best result of the year so far.

Alonso marked a cautiously optimistic tone about the race on Sunday, when his auto will have a much tougher test of its more than questionable reliability. How we build the speed from Q1, 1m22.0 to 1m 21.0, that second is just getting confidence and risking more without a bad surprise from the auto. "I think our chassis is not bad, we can normally be in the Q3, but we're lacking in power and reliability".

Alonso felt his time behind Kvyat - almost one third of the race distance - underlined how Honda is compromising McLaren's opportunities on Sundays. "But I am pretty sure we keep learning from the things that are happening to the auto", Alonso said.

But sitting alongside Honda chief Yusuke Hasegawa, a smiling Alonso refused to divulge what amount of his two-second deficit to the pole position lap of Lewis Hamilton the McLaren team believe is Honda's responsibility. With its rougher surface and tricky curves, the track gives slower cars like his McLaren a fighting chance.

But Alonso has chosen to race at Indianapolis instead of Monaco in two weeks, posing the question of whether he will miss out on one of his best points-scoring opportunities of the year.

That would already have been a satisfying final outcome but in Q3 he beat Sergio Perez, Felipe Massa and Esteban Ocon to take seventh place, behind only the Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull drivers. The F1 race will be held on Sunday. To fight for seventh place in Monaco?

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE