18 May, 2017
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Alonso focuses on fine tuning at Indy 500

Fernando Alonso says despite battling strong winds on day three of practice week at the Indy 500 he is already working on the small details.

Alonso focuses on fine tuning at Indy 500
Alonso focuses on fine tuning at Indy 500
Click here for Wednesday's Indy 500 free practice results

Fernando Alonso says despite battling strong winds on day three of practice week at the Indy 500 he is already working on the small details on his McLaren-Honda-Andretti in preparation for his rookie outing.

The McLaren-Honda F1 driver jumped to fourth on Wednesday's times, although a number of high-profile drivers opted for limited running due to the windy conditions, but was just 3.3mph off timesheet-topper Ed Carpenter.

With another 39 laps to his name ahead of his maiden Indy 500, Alonso says his team executed its plan without an issue as he got to grips with fine-tuning the set-up on his car plus becoming familiar with the pit stop procedure at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“The conditions didn't help today so there was very little running for the big guys but for me any conditions are still a good lesson,” Alonso said. “It was about learning again, how to drive in the strong winds here and how to set-up the car from corner to corner.

“It went according to plan. The team used those runs to test something in the background on the engine tuning.

“The pit stop practice was useful and I think we learned a couple of things on their side and also my side on how to approach the slow and fast lane because obviously in practice it is okay but on race day when 33 cars pit in there will be a lot of traffic so we have to respect some kind of rules that are new here.”

With optimum set-up being key to vital gains in lap speed, Alonso says the small details between his simulator work and track testing will be key as he prepares for qualifying for his rookie Indy 500 outing this weekend.

“From the outside compared to F1 circuits it is simpler with only four corners but the spread in terms of time and speed between the first and last car is some details that you can gain on set-up on the car,” he said. “If you change a small spring on the front suspension or rear suspension you can pick up 0.3 of a mph which can make three or four places.

“That is why we tested on the simulator and here on the track. From the outside it may seem too simple but what we are testing in very fine tuning on the set-up to gain milliseconds here and there.”

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