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Yeah not sure what part of my post you are referring to but if it was this :- “McLaren as a standalone entrant into Indy500 will have a tough time …. my guess is that Andretti made it look easy and now McLaren with no Honda relationship is stuck with having to go it 'alone' ... “

The post wasn’t about McLaren’s capability to field an Indy500 car, more about the difficulty of obtaining a win against multi car entries from competitors and their wingmen. Look at the current line up — last year Andretti provided wingman support for Alonso — this year Alonso will be alone, in a team of one, amongst the good ol’ boys — of course they will have a soft spot for a ‘furrin’ F1 team and be really helpful, oh I must be dreaming … Maybe team Carlin will help?
A.J. Foyt Racing (Chevrolet)
Tony Kanaan
Matheus Leist
Andretti Autosport (Honda)
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Alexander Rossi
Marco Andretti
Zach Veach
Conor Daly
Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsport (Honda)
James Hinchcliffe
Marcus Ericsson
<acronym title="To be discussed">TBD</acronym>
Carlin Racing (Chevrolet)
Max Chilton
Charlie Kimball
<acronym title="To be discussed">TBD</acronym>
Chip Ganassi Racing (Honda)
Scott Dixon
Felix Rosenqvist
Clauson-Marshall Racing (Chevrolet)
<acronym title="To be discussed">TBD</acronym>
Dale Coyne Racing (Honda)
Sebastien Bourdais
Santino Ferrucci
<acronym title="To be discussed">TBD</acronym>
DragonSpeed (Chevrolet)
Ben Hanley
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (Chevrolet)
<acronym title="To be discussed">TBD</acronym>
<acronym title="To be discussed">TBD</acronym>
Ed Carpenter Racing (Chevrolet)
Ed Carpenter
Spencer Pigot
Ed Jones
Harding Steinbrenner Racing (Honda)
Colton Herta
<acronym title="To be discussed">TBD</acronym>
Juncos Racing (Chevrolet)
<acronym title="To be discussed">TBD</acronym>
<acronym title="To be discussed">TBD</acronym>
McLaren Racing (Chevrolet)
Fernando Alonso
Meyer Shank Racing (Honda)
Jack Harvey
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (Honda)
Graham Rahal
Takuma Sato
Jordan King
Team Penske (Chevrolet)
Will Power
Josef Newgarden
Simon Pagenaud
Helio Castroneves
Yes perhaps I slightly misinterpreted your post. You’re right he won’t have any wingman although I wonder if Andretti won’t be enlisted with some help. Their name is all over Uniteds cars after all. But you’re right of course. I was indeed referring to their ability to engineer the car, rather than the other aspects you refer to.

4,659 Posts
By: David Malsher

McLaren Automotive has confirmed a multi-year agreement with IMSA which will see Compass Racing running a McLaren 720S GT3 in the Sprint Cup, starting at the next round in Mid-Ohio.

IMSA’s WeatherTech Sprint Cup will support the full WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and is open to GT Daytona class competitors. Following the round in Mid-Ohio, the championship will race at Detroit’s Belle Isle, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Lime Rock Park, Road America, Virginia International Raceway, and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Compass Racing has scored 30 wins in IMSA competition, including the Michelin Pilot Challenge event at Daytona with the McLaren 570S GT4, and as revealed last December, will run its 720S for McLaren factory driver Paul Holton and Matt Plumb, with the pair contesting all seven rounds of the 2019 Sprint Cup season.

Dan Walmsley, motorsport director at McLaren Automotive, commented: “The popularity of GT3 racing in North America has dramatically grown over recent seasons and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is one of the most competitive GT series in the world.

“With the North American market the largest for McLaren Automotive, it is great to have customer teams racing with the 720S GT3 in such an exciting and well-supported championship; we are proud to partner with IMSA and having McLaren cars competing in the GTD class from 2019 is an important and significant moment for McLaren Customer Racing.”


4,659 Posts
The car looks so simple and basic next to a F1 car.
I hope he pulls off the win!
Yes that would be great!
But just participating has a value in the USA as it promotes and expands McLaren brand recognition — the most common question in the gas station is "what is it?"

4,659 Posts
The two-time champion is now with Chevrolet and a full-fledged McLaren effort
APRIL 24, 2019
Motor racing-Alonso happy to be back in Indy despite rough start
by Rory Carroll

April 24 (Reuters) - Former Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso was happy to be back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway despite a tough opening test on Wednesday when his McLaren Chevrolet ground to a halt after a quarter of a lap in his first practice run.

The Spaniard, a two-time Formula One world champion who will be racing again at the Indianapolis 500 on May 26, said hiccups were to be expected as he adjusts to a new car and a new team after retiring from F1 at the end of last season.

Despite a four-hour rain delay and an abbreviated practice session, he said he was happy to return to The Brickyard, where he led for part of the race in 2017 before retiring with an engine problem.

“It’s good to be back and to feel again the magic of the place,” the 37-year-old told a press conference. “For us, obviously, we lost a little bit of time at the beginning,” he added of the electronic issue that cut short his first run.

“This was more or less expected because it was a brand new chassis and a brand new car.

“Everything fit in the last week and we expect to run slowly and step by step. Short runs at the beginning. It’s what we did.”

Alonso, who tested McLaren’s 2019 car in Bahrain earlier this month and said it was a step up from the one he raced last year in Formula One, said he was just happy to get a chance to get back into a racing seat.

“In any track time that you have you may discover issues with the car, you may discover things that you can improve as a driver — there is always learning especially for us with a brand new car,” he said.

“We need to check many things.” (Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

4,659 Posts
Alonso, McLaren ‘baffled’ by issues in Indy 500 practice
By Bruce Martin
May 14, 2019, 8:20 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS – Fernando Alonso was 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 on Tuesday.

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 32ndfastest out of 39 car/driver combinations that turned laps on Tuesday.

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.

INDYCARNBC, however, got an exclusive interview with McLaren team principal Gil de Ferran, who won the 2003 Indianapolis 500 when he was with Team Penske.

“I think the plan here was to run more than we did,” de Ferran told NBC “Obviously, I’m disappointed and a little frustrated we had the issue in the afternoon. We are trying our best to understand what the problem is. So far, it’s baffling. We lost the entire afternoon session.

“This morning was a bit of a warmup. He still needed to do a bit of a run to complete his refresher with a conservative setup on the car.

“Not running this afternoon really hurts us. Here in Indy, when the weather is good, you want to be out there, and today was a day of good weather.

“We have a lot of capable guys. We will get on top of this matter and see.”

De Ferran and McLaren had not determined the cause of the electrical issue Tuesday night as they continued to scour over reams and reams of data on their computers. was allowed into the team’s garage in Gasoline Alley as lead engineer Andy Brown continued to look for the cause of the issue.

“If we understood what the issue is, it would have been fixed,” de Ferran said. “That’s why it’s so baffling. It’s an electrical issue; not mechanical.

“It’s been a difficult start. No doubt about that. We’ll see what we can do.”

In 2017 when “Alonso Mania” swept through the “Month of May” as Alonso skipped the Grand Prix of Monaco to compete in the Indianapolis 500, he was a quick study. He got up to speed in a hurry, qualified fifth on the grid and led 27 laps in the race before his Honda engine blew up on Lap 180.

Times have changed in 2019, though.

In 2017, McLaren partnered with Honda team Andretti Autosport, one of the top teams in the NTT IndyCar Series. Andretti provided Alonso with one of their top cars along with an outstanding collection of crew members and engineers who completely understood how to set up a competitive car for the 500-Mile Race.

In 2019, McLaren is doing it on its own.

INDYCAR Unable to continue with Honda, McLaren is powered by Chevrolet and has an engineering alliance with Carlin Racing, one of the smaller teams in the Chevy camp.

“We are under no illusions how big a challenge we have,” de Ferran admitted. “We are racing against some really good teams. I’m under the opinion two heads think better than one. We have a lot of experienced people in the group, but we haven’t run together as a team ourselves everyone together before. Any help that we can get is better than no help.

“This is our crew. There are some really talented guys, but we have a lot of work ahead of us.

“I don’t think of those expectations. Even when I was a driver, I’d look at the situation I’m in, try to understand he weaknesses and opportunities we have and tackle them head-on. If you do that in a consistent basis every day and successfully, usually the results will come.”

As for Alonso’s response to a disappointed Opening Day, de Ferran said, “He is very aware we needed the running. It was not a happy moment for anyone on the team, including Fernando.”

Wednesday will be a new day for the teams at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s another seven hours of practice from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time.

McLaren and Honda know they have some time to make out after a lost day of practice on Tuesday.

“One step at a time,” de Ferran said. “Hopefully, we’ll get on top of some of the issues we have today and get a fresh start and clean run on Wednesday.

“We need to review what we are going to do now. We lost three hours this afternoon. We have to develop the setup. We haven’t discussed exactly how we want to do the day on Wednesday.”

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has said a full-time NTT IndyCar Series team in 2020 is dependent on how well the operation does at Indianapolis in May. It would be a two-car team and some drivers, such as Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud, already have been considered as possibilities within the inner bubble of IndyCar.

When asked if he had an eye on future drivers for a full-time operation, de Ferran said it’s not his primary focus.

“Right now, I have my hands full,” de Ferran said. “Right now, our key focus is doing the best we can in the Indianapolis 500.”

There remains time for Alonso and McLaren to overcome Tuesday’s disappointment.

From Tuesday to Thursday of this week, IndyCar teams and drivers work on “Race Setup” with lots of full-tank runs and group runs to see how this car will work in traffic.

Teams start to trim for “qualifying setup” Friday because they are given extra boost. Teams work in reverse order to the month because they believe it is much more important to be ready for the race in case of rain. Speed setups can be handled in the “Fast Friday” and Saturday morning practice sessions.

“If the weather holds, we’ll have plenty of opportunity to recover from a day like today,” de Ferran said.

INDYCARNBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold’s “INDYCAR Pass” will combine to provide 13 hours of Indy 500 qualifying coverage, beginning Saturday, May 18, exclusively for “INDYCAR Pass” subscribers from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET before shifting to NBCSN at 5 p.m. ET. The final qualifying session, which will determine which driver earns the pole position, airs Sunday, May 19, from 12-3 p.m. ET on NBC.

NBC Sports Gold is NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer live streaming subscription service and will live stream 60 hours of INDYCAR content this month. A special $15 discount is now being offered, reducing the season-long subscription price to $39.99.

Practice coverage for this year’s Indy 500 begins with a seven-hour session on Tuesday, May 14 on “INDYCAR Pass.” In all, “INDYCAR Pass” will exclusively live stream 29.5 hours of Indy 500 practice coverage between May 14-18. NBCSN will also provide coverage of some practice sessions.

NBCSN and “INDYCAR Pass” will also combine to provide coverage of Indy 500 Carb Day, the IPL 500 Festival Parade, and the Indy 500 Victory Banquet.

The 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge will be the first ever on NBC. Coverage begins on Sunday, May 26, with eight hours of programming: a pre-race show on NBCSN at 9 a.m. ET; race coverage at 11 a.m. ET on NBC; and a post-race show at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

4,659 Posts
Alonso first to crash in Indy practice

By: Marshall Pruett |
Fernando Alonso became the first driver to hit the wall during practice for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.

The Spaniard’s No. 66 McLaren Racing Chevy had completed a lap of 224.269 mph while running close to Graham Rahal and understeered into the Turn 3 wall. Striking with the right-front wheel first, the two-time Formula 1 world champion spun to the infield, struck the wall with the back of the car, and slid across to Turn 4, where he made additional contact with the front of the car. Prior to the crash, the team focused on making damper changes at the car’s rear.

The 37-year-old leapt from the car immediately and appeared to be uninjured. He was then checked and cleared to drive by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“It was pure understeer on the car, and even though I lifted the throttle on the entry to the corner, it was not enough and the wall was too close and came too quickly,” he said. “Fortunately, it happened today. Sorry for the team, and we will come back strongly tomorrow.”

The team has two new cars for its return to the Indy 500, giving it the option to resume with its spare car once a motor is fitted, or to repair the crashed car and continue practicing with it on Thursday.

“We’re just going to hover around the car here and assess the situation and make a decision [on whether to switch to the spare car] in the coming hours,” said McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran. “We’d been fighting understeer this morning, and it looks like he just understeered into the wall and that was that.”



4,659 Posts

By: David Malsher

McLaren CEO Zak Brown says that atmosphere within the McLaren Racing IndyCar team is calm despite two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso being left with just one practice day before qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 begins on Saturday.

Alonso has completed just 96 laps over the past three days of practice, with electrical issues on Tuesday restricting his running to 50 laps, before he crashed at Turn 3 on Wednesday having run 46 laps. By contrast, the busiest driver, Spencer Pigot of Ed Carpenter Racing, has turned 302 laps.

Following the shunt, McLaren has switched from its UK-built chassis to the Carlin/John Cummiskey-built car, fitting it with a fresh Chevrolet the original having suffered damage. According to team sporting director Gil de Ferran in an official release, that engine change was “an additional workload.”

He went on to admit: “Not running today was a serious setback to our Indy 500 program, but all is not lost. We should have a full day of practice and preparations for qualifying tomorrow and our goal will be to have a nice, clean day.”

Brown told “We’re not allowed to have a true spare car [chassis and engine] so we’ve got to build it up and it’s important we get it right. It’s not ideal.”

Asked if there was a sense of panic that the team and Alonso are inadequately prepared for Fast Friday – where the BorgWarner turbos are turned up to 1.4-bar (from 1.3) and the cars are trimmed for qualifying simulations ahead of Pole Day and Bump Day at the weekend – Brown denied it.

“No, no, they’re relaxed,” he said. “Fernando is a little sore from his accident – his legs bent the steering wheel – but he’s fine. But you know what Indy is like. If you panic, that’s when you make a mistake so you’ve just got to keep your cool and build rhe car and get it right and make sure you get the setup right. It takes a long time on the setup pad to get the configuration, and I don’t think you can rush it.

Brown admitted that in this circumstance, being a separate entity and not just being part of the Andretti Autosport multi-car effort as McLaren was back in 2017 – and also doing Indy 500 as a one-off – is hurting the squad. To put it in perspective, Felix Rosenqvist crashed his Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda 4.5 hours after Alonso’s shunt, but his new car was rolled through tech inspection at 10am this morning and was ready to hit the track when it opened at 11am.

“Being a new team is certainly a disadvantage as it takes time,” said Brown. “The guys are all very experienced but they’ve not worked together as a team before. So this is the first time they’ve had to rebuild a car overnight and you’re always going to do it a second time or third time or fourth time.

“But the only way to get through that is to be a new team once, learn from it. But they’re cool, calm and collected.”

Regarding the plan for car setup on Fast Friday – to either get Alonso’s confidence back with raceday downforce, or to launch into qualifying simulations with the car trimmed out – Brown said: “We don’t know yet. They want to see when we roll off where the car’s at, so I think tonight we’ll decide what tomorrow’s plan looks like.

“Fernando will be back on it from the first lap. But we’ve just got to make sure what the racecar’s like. None of them are identical – they should be, but… Once we get it on the track he’ll want to put his foot down right away but you need to go through the right system checks and show some patience

4,659 Posts

By: David Malsher

Fernando Alonso recognizes that McLaren-Chevrolet still have a fight on their hands to make the field for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

After missing most of Wednesday’s running and all of Thursday, the two-time Formula 1 champion had enough tire sets to turn more laps than all but one of his 35 rivals on Fast Friday, when the BorgWarner turbo boost is turned up to 1.4-bar, in preparation for the weekend of qualifying.

However, given that he had only turned 96 laps of the 2.5-mile oval over the previous three days, Alonso wasn’t as trimmed out as several rivals ending the day 24th overall and 30th in the rankings of laps turned without a tow. His fastest no-tow speed was 226.869mph, compared with the fastest no-tow lap of the day, a 230.106 by Ed Jones of Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet.

Asked if he was worried about his qualifying prospets, he responded: “I am, yes. I think it's the same for everyone.

“Tomorrow, I think the pick-up order [initial qualifying run order is set by draw] and when you will do the run is going to be a big factor if it's a hot day. So yeah, if we are in the wrong moment of the day, which it seems that the luck will put us this week… There are no guarantees.”

Nonetheless, the 32-time Formula 1 race winner was upbeat about how much McLaren had accomplished over the course of the seven-hour practice which lost half an hour to Kyle Kaiser’s accident and 1hr20min to a yellow for bad weather.

“It was a positive day for us, and we were able to put the car on track and try different directions on the setup and learn a little bit about the track and the day. Obviously the boost was up today, so the speeds were higher, and it was more a quali preparation than race setups.

“But we had a lot of new tires from the last couple of days so we were able to do a lot of runs, and hopefully that information will give us tomorrow a little bit of confidence into qualifying.

“It was more about the setup of the car, not necessarily on the trimming or on the aerodynamic side. Also sometimes you can solve all the problems on the mechanical side and once you are happy with the car, maybe you start trimming a little bit more.

“We worked a lot on the mechanical grip, and we found a better direction through the day than when we started. So yeah, we need to look through the data tonight and hopefully have an even better starting point tomorrow.”

Regarding the basic characteristics of the current breed of IndyCar compared with the manufacturer aerokit-equipped car he raced here two years ago - and the series’ future technical direction – Alonso said he shouldn’t pass judgment.

“I didn't have enough laps probably to really comment on this, especially in traffic,” he said. “I think today didn't feel too bad compared to 2017 Fast Friday, let's say. Qualifying, I think the cars are light in general, and the downforce you feel always low, with whatever package you put on the car.

“I think in traffic, what I heard is that it's much more challenging now than 2017, but so as long as it's the same for everyone, it makes a good show. If the direction is this one, that IndyCar is taking for the future – more horsepower or whatever – maybe you'll see a better show.

“As long as you can follow someone, which I think is quite important at the end of the day because you can remove the downforce but you cannot follow closely, you will miss the action and miss the overtaking in the race.

“So you need to be able to follow to a certain point to have a good show. So hopefully they take that into account.”

4,659 Posts

Fernando Alonso’s Indianapolis 500 misery continues
By Bruce Martin
May 18, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS – Watching Fernando Alonso and McLaren make five qualification attempts on Saturday, only to fail to make the top 30 for the Indianapolis 500, was like watching Michael Jordan or Lebron James miss shot after shot after shot.

It was like watching him play for the Washington Generals, the longtime hapless opponent for the Harlem Globetrotters in basketball.

The two-time Formula One World Champion arrived for his second Indianapolis 500 attempting to win his version of auto racing’s “Triple Crown.” That includes a victory in the Grand Prix of Monaco, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500.

At the end of Saturday’s qualifications at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Alonso was 31st in a qualification session where the top 30 are locked in to the 33-car starting lineup.

Alonso has one final shot at making the race. It comes in Sunday’s Last Row Shootout, which will be televised on NBC beginning at Noon ET, weather permitting. It will be followed by the Fast Nine Shootout and the battle for the pole position.

THE 103RD INDIANAPOLIS 500: Click here for how to watch, full daily schedules

There is a morning practice session for the six cars in the Last Row Shootout from 10:45-11:15 a.m. ET. After that, Alonso will have one last attempt, with the three fastest four-lap averages earning the final spots on the grid.

Alonso is four laps away from making the field or going home – a bitter disappointment for a driver that was such a big hit and popular figure in his first Indy 500 in 2017.

INDYCAR Photo by Walt KuhnThe 37-year-old from Spain has faced pressure before. He was just 24 when he became the youngest Formula One World Champion in 2005.

How will he approach his final qualification attempt for the Indy 500?

“The same as today,” Alonso said. “I think today I approached like they were the last four laps.

“You try to go in and more or less you are happy with your run, but then when you see the times, it’s not enough, obviously. There is not much we can do at the moment.

“Tomorrow we’ll try to do these four laps clean, no mistakes, try to be flat all four, and then if it’s enough to be in the top three of the six, we’ll take it, and we will try to do a good race.

“If it’s not enough and we are fourth of six, it’s what we deserve. There were maybe three cars quicker than us. So, nothing we can do more than that. Try to execute the runs tomorrow the best we can, and same thing with did today, stay calm, stay focused, and yeah, try to do a good job.”

It’s been a week of obstacles, errors, calamities, and humiliation for the McLaren IndyCar team. It’s a far different program than in 2017 when McLaren joined forces with Andretti Autosport.

That year, he had a powerful Dallara-Honda prepared by Andretti with Andretti engineers and crewmembers. This year, McLaren has tried to build its own IndyCar team with the cars built and prepared in England. Instead of Honda, the team was aligned with Chevrolet. Additionally, they are receiving engineering help from Carlin.

But that operation is struggling in this year’s Indy 500 as rookie Pato O’Ward of Mexico and veteran Max Chilton of Great Britain will also be in the “Last Row Shootout.” The only Carlin driver to make the top 30 was Charlie Kimball, 20th with a four-lap average of 227.915 miles per hour in a Chevrolet.

McLaren’s IndyCar operation is led by Sporting Director Gil De Ferran and McLaren IndyCar President Bob Fernley.

An alternator issue on Tuesday brought an early end to the team’s on-track effort. Then, Alonso crashed in the Turn 2 wall just one hour and 34 minutes into Wednesday’s practice. The team had to bring out the backup car, but had problems getting it prepared in time and was unable to return to the track on Thursday.

It had a rather uneventful, but slow, day of practice on Friday. It did one final practice on Saturday morning and after running a lap at 228.065 mph, McLaren was confident it could make the top 30 in qualifications.

But when qualifications began at 11 a.m., the ambient temperature was soaring on a path into the mid-80s. Alonso made his qualification attempt at 12:32 p.m. and it was obvious after his first lap, his car did not have the speed. His first lap was 226.971 mph followed by laps at 225.037 mph, 224.641 mph, 223. 825 mph for a four-lap average of 225.113 mph.

McLaren PhotoMcLaren discovered a punctured right-rear tire after his qualification attempt, and it was back to the garage in Gasoline Alley to wait for better conditions to make another qualification attempt.

“We have a rear-right puncture and that didn’t help,” Alonso said after his first attempt. “Our performance has been quite bad all week and quite poor. If we add to that by withdrawing and doing the run now with this strong wind and have a puncture with the tire, the combination is quite bad.

“Hopefully, by the end of the day we can have a better shot.

“I don’t know when it happened, and we are not very competitive any way, so we don’t have any downside on that. The confidence is what it is. We saw this morning; we could be in the 228s (miles per hour). When you are borderline and have that drawing and a puncture, it is quite bad.

“Another chance will be in our hands and we’ll take it.”

Alonso questioned his team’s ability to make things happen.

“The team was not totally ready for the challenge,” Alonso said. “We’ve been slow. Juncos crashed yesterday and were ready to go today. That’s impressive for us. We’ve been a little bit slow for everything.

“It’s disappointing. But that is more a question for McLaren.

“It would be nice to go into the race, but it’s not in our hands. You get the speed of the car. I cannot go for much more.”

Alonso started a second attempt at 3:47 p.m., but after three laps of 228.464 mph, 226.211 mph and 223.608 mph, the team waved off the attempt.

He bumped Chilton out of the race after his attempt that began at 4:15 p.m. when he ran a four-lap average of 227.000 mph.

After O’Ward bumped Alonso, the Spaniard completed a four-lap run that began at 4:40 p.m. but the four-lap average was 224.414 mph.

At 5:20 p.m., Alonso bumped JR Hildebrand out of the race with a four-lap average of 227.234 mph.

Hildebrand returned the favor by bumping Alonso out of the top 30 with a four-lap average of 227.908 mph in an attempt that began at 5:41 p.m.

At 5:50 p.m., the gun was fired to end qualifications, and Alonso, who had been sitting in his race car since his second qualification attempt began at 3:47 p.m., climbed out of the car. He was immediately surrounded by media and photographers.

He jumped over the pit wall but was followed by NBC’s Kelli Stavast to get his reaction at missing the top 30.

“I have one last attempt, another chance to get into the race,” he told Stavast. “If we take it, ok. If we don’t take it, we don’t deserve to be in the race.

“We’ll try to do one last clean run and hopefully that will be good enough.”

As he ran through the pits, he would stop here and there to sign an autograph. Some fans would even rudely burst into the mob to take “selfies” with the driver, oblivious to the fact he was bitterly disappointed at not getting locked into the starting lineup.

How could Alonso, a driver that had been through heartbreak this week at Indy, still find time to sign autographs?

“Well, I didn’t sign all of them,” Alonso said. “I stopped, a few, but they are everywhere. You open the motorhome, they are there; you go out to the garage, they are there; you go in the bathroom, they are there. So sometimes you stop, sometimes you don’t.

“They are out of the emotions and out of the environment that you are in on that moment. Maybe you jump out of the car, but for them it’s like you were walking there. They didn’t see what you were doing the last 10 minutes. So, it’s not something that they can control. You try to be nice with most of them, but I understand that a lot of them, they are not happy at the end of the day. So, you try to do the best way you can.”

It’s been an intense and frustrating week for both Alonso and McLaren, and it all came to a head on another disappointing day.

“Definitely it has been a difficult day again, difficult week in general but difficult day,” Alonso said. “The run in the morning maybe the conditions were not too bad. We thought that it was not a great number, but the teams were moving quickly, and we went out around 1:00. So I think the conditions were okay, but we have a rear puncture at that time, so we wait now until the afternoon to see the conditions, see if they were a bit cooler, and they did, so yeah, we took the chance another two, three runs to improve.

“We slightly improved the average lap, but it was not enough to be in the top 30 unfortunately, so we need to try again tomorrow, and now stay calm. Obviously, it’s a difficult moment for everyone in the team and for me, but there’s not much we can do now.

“We will try to do something overnight, but as I said, there is not much we can find from one day to the next.

“Hopefully it’s enough to be in the top three positions tomorrow of the six.”

Bruce Martin PhotoThere are many in the Formula One crowd that look down at the NTT IndyCar Series and smirk, thinking it’s lower technology and less sophisticated than Formula One.

McLaren and Alonso have discovered this week the NTT IndyCar Series is pretty strong, especially when it comes to making the ‘500.’

“I think that part is obvious,” said owner/driver Ed Carpenter, who place all three of his cars in the Fast Nine including fastest of the day Spencer Pigot. “The quality of teams, drivers from top to bottom in the series I think is world-class.

“You just have to look back to last year, the types of drivers and teams that were not in the show, and even today, you look at who was fighting for that top 30, in and out, in and out, it’s not easy, and I don’t think they expected it to be easy.

“I think it’s a world-class field. I think it’s not just drivers here that would tell you that. I think there’s enough respect around the motorsports industry for the talent that’s here.”

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Lets hope he/we grab the last chance today... couldn’t have been a worse sequence of events
Yes. It is going to be tight for Alonso in last row qual — Hinchcliffe and Karam are at 228 mph the others in the last row run off are all in Carlin cars I think currently at 227 mph……. Will know soon

7,997 Posts
You are too tough! There is cover in that Alonso crashed out the McLaren prepped car — the Carlin cars are slow, even the other Carlin drivers can't go better than 227 mph — not good enough …..
Yeah. I am pretty sure the mclaren prepped car would have been quicker. You can’t legislate For that. Alonso was good enough to put his hand up and admit his mistake.

It would be odd indeed if pressure were exerted on a ceo for a driver mistake imv
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