Fernando Alonso and McLaren’s preparations for Indy 500 qualifying this weekend took suffered a setback when the former F1 world champion crashed during practice.
The Spaniard walked away unscathed from the accident and later tweeted that it was a “mistake from my side” with a “lesson learned”.
McLaren did not return to track on Thursday as a result while they prepared the spare car, with their practice programme having already been delayed by an electrical problem on Monday.
“It was understeer on the car, and even if I lifted the throttle on the entry of the corner, it was not enough and I lost completely the front aero,” said Alonso, who completed 46 laps with a top speed of 225.433mph around the 2.5-mile oval.
Mistake from my side underestimating the grip in T3 today. I’m sorry for the team and the guys that have to work a lot now. 💙 Lesson learned. 🙏 . We will be back stronger later today or tomorrow. #indy500 https://t.co/LajbGhBM0j
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) May 15, 2019
“The wall came too close and too quickly. Unfortunately, it happened today. We will lose a little bit of running time again. I’m sorry for the team, but we will learn, and hopefully, we will come back stronger tomorrow.”
Gil de Ferran, McLaren’s sporting director, said: “There’s no denying the past few days have impacted our preparations, but we do feel we have a direction for where we need to take the set-up of the car.
“We’re pulling together as a team, Fernando is in great spirits, and we just have to keep working in a calm and determined manner.”
On the second day of practice at the famous Brickyard, Josef Newgarden set the pace for Team Penske ahead of Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon. Felix Rosenqvist, the Swedish driver making his debut in the IndyCar series this year, also crashed and emerged unscathed.