Fernando Alonso had his first road course IndyCar test at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama earlier on Wednesday.
Following the disastrous run in the Italian GP at Monza on Sunday where he was forced to retire early due to an electrical issue, Alonso flew to Alabama in the United States of America for his private IndyCar test.
The Spaniard was confirmed for a run by McLaren’s Zak Brown over the Formula 1 weekend but the test was said to be a private running with no media involvement. However, the series organisers along with the two teams has revealed images of Alonso’s run.
The Spaniard was back in his #29 McLaren Andretti Honda car which he drove during the 2017 Indy500 in May where he was forced to retire as well after a solid run during the race in his maiden attempt.
Alonso ran a plain Andretti car with a green and blue livery having only the stickers of the team, tyre supplier Firestone and the series – it did not have the Honda sticker though. Alonso used a plain helmet as well with the Kimoa branding.
“It was a good day, a fun day,” he said after the run. “I love to test new cars and to test the Indy car on a road course is something special. I’ve been lucky enough to test it in wet conditions, in intermediate conditions and in dry conditions [today].
“So, overall I had a good feeling on every type of track. The weather was good for us today – a little bit of wind in the afternoon but overall a positive day. Probably my instinct will tell me road course [is what I prefer] because it’s what I’ve been used to doing all my life.
“But the Indy 500 was an amazing experience, so 50/50. I think I love the way the car feels on a road course, but I love the way you compete on ovals, timing the tows, traffic and all the overtaking maneuvers I think are a little bit easy on the ovals, so in terms of track action, I loved the Indy 500.”
Alonso added that he wanted to do a road course run last year after the Indy500 run but it wasn’t possible but he is now pleased to have undertaken it. “It was something that I was looking for last year already.
“I had some options to test the car on a road course after the Indy 500. We didn’t find the time but this year it’s definitely happened now and I’m happy for this. I love being behind a steering wheel, and definitely a new car, a new experience, learning a lot of things from the team, the engineers, everyone, so a happy day,” he said.
This was his first run in a road course at Barber Motorsports Park as he decides upon his future programme for 2019. Last month, the Spaniard confirmed to be leaving F1 at the end of 2018 to look for other racing opportunities.
He is currently racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Toyota which will culminate with the Le Mans 24 Hours race in June next year. The decision for him will be to decided whether to do a full year in IndyCar or just run in the Indy500.
He has already achieved two of three objectives for the Triple Crown with a win in the Monaco GP and the Le Mans 24 Hours with only the Indy500 left to be done. Meanwhile, the decision is also for McLaren if they get involved as a team in IndyCar.
Talks have been on for long for the British outfit to venture into the American single-seater series as a full-time participant in partnership with Andretti. The decision is likely to be taken sometime in September.