Fernando Alonso fourth in Indy 500 practice despite 'tricky' winds on Wednesday
Alonso completes 39 laps with best lap of 219.533mph as Wednesday practice hampered by 40mph gusts of wind
By Jonathan Green
Last Updated: 19/05/17 12:33am
Fernando Alonso overcame "tricky" wind conditions to finish fourth in the timesheets in Wednesday's practice for the Indy 500.
The McLaren Honda Andretti driver completed 39 laps with a best lap of 219.533mph around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.
Ed Carpenter topped the charts with a 222.894mph lap for his Chevrolet-powered team.
Alonso, who finished 19th and 24th in practice on Monday and Tuesday, believed it had been another productive day as he continues to adapt to the demands of IndyCar from Formula 1.
"It was tricky, definitely," said Alonso. "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 back on engine tuning, so it was a productive day."
Alonso is missing next week's Monaco GP to compete in the Indy 500 as he attempts to become only the second person, after the late Graham Hill, to complete motorsport's Triple Crown.
"From the outside, compared to F1 circuits this looks more simple: only four corners. But the spread in terms of the speed from the first car to the last is just on small details which you can gain on set-up," the Spaniard said.
"Change a little spring on the front suspension and you can gain 0.3 of a mile on that - and that can make three or four places.
"What we are testing is very small tuning on set-up to gain milliseconds here and there."
Having twice won in Monaco, Alonso is attempting to add the Indy 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours to his roll of honour before he retires.
The two-time F1 world champion admitted ahead of Wednesday's running that he was still coming to grips with his car.
"After the test at the beginning of May, the car was so different to drive and the place so different as well, I felt happy but not comfortable," he said.
"[Tuesday] after the traffic running I was much more comfortable and happier with the position I am now. There is still a lot to come.
"I'm in the simulator in the morning, in the car in the afternoon. I'm not ready yet but think I will be for qualifying and the race."
Indy 500 Wednesday Practice Time Sheet
|Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||0:40.3779||222.894|
|Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||0:40.4315||222.599|
|JR Hildebrand||Ed Carpenter Racing||0:40.8066||220.553|
|Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda Andretti||0:40.9961||219.553|
|Conor Daly||AJ Foyt Racing||0:41.0523||219.223|
|Max Chilton||Chip Ganassi Racing||0:41.1199||218.872|
|Carlos Munoz||AJ Foyt Racing||0:41.1260||218.840|
|Zach Veach||AJ Foyt Racing||0:41.1643||218.636|
|Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing||0:41.2614||218.122|
|Jay Howard||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||0:41.4175||217.299|
|Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing||0:41.4638||217.057|
|Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||0:41.5002||216.866|
|Mikhail Aleshin||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||0:41.5045||216.844|
|James Hinchcliffe||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||0:41.6025||216.333|
|Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||0:56.3942||159.591|
|Jack Harvey||Andretti Autosport/Mike Shank Racing||0:57.4418||156.680|
|Sage Karam||Dreyer & Reinbold/Kingdom Racing||0:59.5514||151.130|
|Takuma Sato||Andretti Autosport||1:21.9092||109.878|
|Alexander Rossi||Andretti-Herta Autosport||1:23.8623||107.319|
|Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||1:27.5898||102.752|
|Oriol Servia||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||2:26.8176||61.301|
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