Michael Andretti: “We’ll Have to Consider Fernando a Rookie”

Michael Andretti, who will be Fernando Alonso’s Strategist in the Indy 500 has stated that he has every intention of treating Alonso as a rookie.

Now that the news of Fernando Alonso’s participation in the Indy 500 is out in the open, more and more of the folks involved in the project are coming forth to offer their insight on just how they expect things to shake down. Most recent is Michael Andretti of Andretti Autosport, who will be calling the shots for Fernando whilst Eric Bretzman stands in as the team’s race engineer.

Fernando Alonso, Monaco, Monte Carlo, 27 May 2001. (Photo by Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images)
Fernando Alonso, Monaco, Monte Carlo, 27 May 2001. (Photo by Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images)

Andretti has assured everyone that although Alonso has plenty of star-power, he is inexperienced within IndyCar, and will be treated as a rookie as such:

“One good thing is about this is that we know how to deal with rookies, and we’ll have to consider Fernando a rookie. But we know what a talent he is, too, and he’ll be up to speed very quick, running right there with his teammates.

The advantage that he has is a lot of teammates there to help him out, if he’s got any questions. The four veterans that are on the team will be more than happy to help him and will go out of their way to help him.

LONG BEACH, CA - APRIL 07:  Marco Andretti drives the #27 Honda IndyCar on the track during practice for the Grand Prix At Long Beach on April 7, 2017 in Long Beach, California.  (Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images)
LONG BEACH, CA – APRIL 07: Marco Andretti drives the #27 Honda IndyCar on the track during practice for the Grand Prix At Long Beach on April 7, 2017 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images)

So I’m not worried about it at all. I mean, we did it with [Alexander] Rossi last year. The first oval he ever saw was Phoenix, and then his first high-speed oval was Indianapolis and you saw what happened… So I think he’s going to be in the thick of things in my opinion.” – Michael Andretti

Alonso will certainly be the rookie out on the field, but if the decorated Spaniard’s F1 performances are anything to go off of, he’ll be tearing up the tarmac alongside of his teammates with no problems.

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