Fernando Alonso has admitted that his strategy for the upcoming Indy 500 race will be a marked difference from his usual F1 antics.
There has been no question regarding the change in strategy and mindset that Fernando Alonso has had to make for his upcoming stint at the Indy 500. The Spaniard has been putting in long hours both on and off the track to ensure that he shows up to this weekend’s race with the highest amount of potential for stealing away another third of the coveted Triple Crown. Alonso has been outstanding in his track performance thus far, managing to secure a fifth-place starting position for himself and the McLaren-Andretti-Honda car.
Despite starting in the middle of the second row, Alonso is under no illusion that the oval will call for a different performance mentality than what he is traditionally used to in Formula One. As such, the Spaniard has highlighted his varied strategy for the race, saying that the structure means he’ll be less pressured into putting all his aggression in to the first several turns – as well as his lack of a plan for the start:
“I don’t have a plan for the beginning of the race. In Formula 1, we are used to playing all of our cards in the first couple of corners because the positions are defined after that, but here it is very different.
But I cannot say that I will play it safe at the beginning of the race because everyone else will take advantage of that. So, I need to keep very open to what is going to happen and if I can run in a comfortable group, I will be happy.
If I am falling behind, I will be calm and later on in the race be competitive. And if I am competitive at the beginning, I will not slow down to lose places.
The race will put you in the position you deserve, so let’s see what happens.” – Fernando Alonso
Alonso’s excitement for the Indy 500 first came off as a desperate need to race inside of a competitive car – and there is perhaps a grain of truth in that McLaren saw this also when they afforded Alonso the opportunity to skip out on the Monaco GP in favor of the Indy 500. Whilst Alonso’s initial excitement and enthusiasm was thought to have stemmed from him just being able to take a break from the ongoing issues at the McLaren-Honda project in Formula One, it’s become clear that the Spaniard has immersed well in Indycar.
Alonso mentioned that the last time he’d felt such uncertainty before a race was roughly seventeen years ago when he competed in Formula 3000, and he relishes the sensation that “anything can happen.”
Anything can, and anything will. The tantalizing prospect of seeing just how the pieces fall will be all the more reason for tuning in this weekend.