Alonso challenged by 'tricky' conditions at Indy


Wednesday's third day of practice at Indianapolis was marked by high winds swirling around the Speedway, producing tricky conditions for rookie Fernando Alonso.

The McLaren Honda Andretti driver clocked a 219.533mph lap which put him fourth on the day's timesheet while Ed Carpenter topped the session with an average speed of  222.894mph.

"It was tricky, definitely," said Alonso of his day of running.

"The conditions today didn’t help, so [there was] very little running for the big guys, but for me any condition is still a good lesson.

"So today was about that, learning how to drive with these strong winds and how to set up the car corner-by-corner.

"Everything went according to plan. The team used those runs also to test something in the background on engine tuning, so it was a productive day."

The Spaniard also devoted part of the day to practicing the art of the pit stop at Indy, working with his crew on timing and technique.

"We learned a couple of things on their side and also on my side, how to approach the fast lane, the slow lane, because obviously in practice it’s OK but on race day when 33 cars will pit, there will be a lot of traffic here."

All in all, as he gears up for the big day, Alonso was happy with his progress and particularly impressed with the interest his presence at Indy has generated with fans lurking in the background where ever he goes.

"I’m having fun, definitely," said Alonso.

"There is a lot of support here from the fans, they get very close to us here in the pitlane, in the garage.

"It seems that everywhere I go they follow me. I think some of the other drivers are taking advantage of that. They wait [until] I go, then they go without trouble.

"That’s the way it is, I’m new here so they all need the autograph for the first time. I hope tomorrow they don’t need it for the second time."

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