Drivers rarely take it easy or race with much caution, but it’d be understandable for a rookie to do just that in the first few laps of a completely new racing experience.
But Alonso is keen to do the complete opposite in the early stages of his first Indy 500 and won’t be holding anything back.
In F1, drivers and teams usually lay down a few plans for the opening part of the race in advance, but Alonso has said that just can’t be done in IndyCar.
He’ll start his maiden Indy 500 from the second row, in fifth place, and is refusing to play it safe despite the unfamiliar way of racing.
The two-time F1 champion is quoted by Motorsport.com saying:
“I don’t have a plan for the beginning of the race. In Formula 1, we are used to playing all of our cards in the first couple of corners because the positions are defined after that, but here it is very different.
“But I cannot say that I will play it safe at the beginning of the race because everyone else will take advantage of that. So I need to keep very open to what is going to happen and if I can run in a comfortable group, I will be happy.
“If I am falling behind, I will be calm and later on in the race be competitive. And if I am competitive at the beginning, I will not slow down to lose places. The race will put you in the position you deserve, so let’s see what happens.”
Alonso added that he hasn’t gone into a race with so much uncertainty since he was racing in Formula 3000. One thing’s for sure, though, the hype around Alonso’s Indy 500 bid is huge and we can’t wait to see what happens.