Fernando Alonso hails 'very positive' first Indianapolis pack laps
|By Edd Straw||Tuesday, May 16th 2017, 22:56 GMT|
Fernando Alonso described his first serious running in traffic on the second day of practice for the Indianapolis 500 as "very positive".
The double Formula 1 world champion completed 117 laps during practice on day two, more than any other driver, and ended up 24th fastest with a best lap at 221.029mph.
From early on, he focused on running with other cars, with two segments of the day dedicated to running with his Andretti Autosport team-mates.
"It was a very positive and productive day with a lot of laps and a lot of learning," Alonso said afterwards.
"[We did] some group running finally with some traffic, information that I will sleep on and use to be a better oval driver tomorrow."
Although this was the first time Alonso was able to run in traffic for long periods - having only very briefly run with other cars yesterday - he was not surprised by the experience.
The McLaren F1 driver believes that being part of a six-car Andretti Autosport team was a big help in understanding how to run in traffic.
"It felt OK, it felt as I expected," said Alonso.
"Obviously, here it is very important to keep close to the car in front of you to take the benefit on the next straight, so it was useful.
"I'm on the best team for that. My team-mates were amazing helping me, I knew they were taking care of me in some moments of the run, so that was good.
"It's the first time for me, learning here and there every lap when I follow them, what they do, how they attack the next corner or the next lap, how they prepare the overtaking.
Alonso added that his approach to the race is one of round-the clock dedication, with morning work in the Honda simulator in Indianapolis helping to accelerate his progress.
"It's 24 hours of dedication for the last month-and-a-half," said Alonso.
"Studying the data that the team provides me, watching a lot of videos of races from the past years.
"In the morning, I go to the simulator, in the afternoons I come here and I keep doing laps and learning.
"We didn't put everything together because there's no time to.
"We keep experimenting on the setup, experimenting on running in traffic.
"But I think we will arrive quite OK for qualifying and the race."