Alonso must expect setbacks - de Ferran


Indy 500 winner Gil de Ferran, who is coaching Fernando Alonso for his Indy 500 venture, says that it won't always be clear sailing for the Spaniard at the Brickyard as he prepares for the big day, and setbacks must be expected.

The former Brazilian racer was impressed with Alonso's debut run behind the wheel of the McLaren-Honda entered Andretti-Autosport machine on Wednesday at Indianapolis.

But obstacles will eventually pop up in the McLaren driver's path.

"It was no surprise to me that it went so well, because Fernando is one of the greatest talents and the team had everything prepared and a good strategy and so on," de Ferran said.

"But I’ll be surprised if there isn’t a setback at some point in the week of practice. Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a way of throwing curveballs at you. That’s just the way it is.

"I don’t know what it will be - if I knew, I would prevent it, right?! But there will be something. But that’s ok, he has a strong team around him and Fernando is also very experienced in overcoming difficulties, and not raising his expectations too fast, too soon. He will be prepared."

De Ferran insisted that Alonso's task going forward will get harder, and it will be all about learning the essentials of racing at the daunting Speedway and gaining precious experience.

"I don’t know that I’d point things he’s got to improve, it’s about experience now," de Ferran added.

"Frankly the integration with the team went smoothly and the acclimatization to the track went smoothly. Job done, and job well done. It was as good a day as one could have hoped for.

"So now he’s got to learn and understand all the nuances of the Speedway, of driving oval cars, of driving in traffic, and also dealing with the team. That can only come with experience."

"He’s a consummate professional, like I said. He’s very focused on doing a good job. He’s not leaving any stone unturned and the team has responded in kind."

Gallery: Alonso's Indy 500 challenger

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