Andretti backs Alonso for Indy 500 glory

Hazel Gray
May 31, 2017

"I think it was a shock to everyone because it wasn't really in the pipeline", Chilton tells The Independent.

In 2016, Alexander Rossi won the Indy 500 with his first attempt for Andretti Autosport - the same team backing Alonso's McLaren-entered auto this year.

IndyCar veteran Dixon says he underwent a range of emotions on Monday, with the robbery at a fastfood outlet taking place just hours after he qualified fastest for the famed Indy 500 race.

"Maybe some of the fame whores, I don't know", said Dixon, a four-time IndyCar champion. "There was a lot more standing around and waiting for stuff to happen than there is here at the 500, so I would definitely still prefer this event as a fan". "I'm happy with the performance".

Fernando Alonso's excitement about his rookie Indy 500 appearance has endeared him to North American racing fans, according to circuit chairman Doug Boles.

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"I think Fernando helps Indy more than Formula 1".

But it's one of Indy's post-race traditions that Alonso most wants to experience: Drinking from a bottle of milk as the victor in Victory Lane.

"The biggest challenge I will face is in the race when you are running in traffic, those groups of cars that form in the race".

"As good partners, you need to recognise when you're delivering and when you are not and we're not delivering on track, which directly impacts their exposure". "I heard they got a free meal out of it", Kanaan said.

And then, you know, you have another 32 cars almost at the same speed trying to overtake you, and you try to overtake them.

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I feel gutted for Fernando and Ryan, who were front-runners today and could have easily won the race. " Thanks for the welcoming". Takuma Sato isn't just the elder statesman among Japanese IndyCar drivers, he's the only Asian driver left in the field.

"What he's gonna learn is that mistakes are punished". "I hope I didn't use it all up there". But he thinks he's done everything possible to prepare for the race, and even spent time Thursday on a simulator.

Alonso hasn't put a foot wrong so far - but how might he fare next weekend?

Alexander Rossi - We're getting +1400 odds with Alexander Rossi, who won this race a year ago as a rookie.

Alonso will start fifth at Sunday's race, which he has been preparing for since the shock announcement of his participation on the eve of the Bahrain Grand Prix. "I was going to be here anyway, and instead of sitting around drinking champagne I can actually do what I'm supposed to do - race cars for a living".

"The atmosphere is incredible at Indianapolis", says Franchitti, champion in 2007, 2010 and 2012.

"You realize what a big event it is, and when you win it you understand what it means to the team you worked with as well - whether it's the guy building the engines, the mechanics on the auto".

Since then, it's been all hands to the pump as he prepares for this weekend's Indy 500.

However, he said it was "fun" and "a privilege" to driving an F1 vehicle again.

"You will not know until the cars leave Turn 4 on the last lap who has got it - they might be racing to the line!"

"Indy is a unusual beast", Villeneuve says. I'm braking so much later than what I'm used to here and carrying so much speed into the corners.

"You have to be there for the whole race". He considers Alonso a legitimate contender because he's racing with Andretti Autosport - victor of this race past year with rookie Alexander Rossi - and because "the calibre of driver he is, it seems like he's definitely soaking it in". Which five drivers would the media most like to see win this year's running of the Indy 500? "I would like to race in NASCAR - that would be fun".

Other reports by VgToday

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