It was the first day, a very special day to see Fernando Alonso testing for the first time IndyCar on a road course on Wednesday with Andretti Autosport at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. The McLaren driver and two time Formula 1 world champion, who has announced his retirement from the championship, is actually considering another new chapter, possibly the 2019 full IndyCar season or perhaps only a partial season.
McLaren has made this test session by the Spaniard in the United State of America to be as private as possible, with no media or fans allowed to attend.
"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." Alonso said.
Alonso was behind the wheel of the green and blue chassis piloted by the Colombian Carlos Munoz at the Indianapolis 500 to sample the manufacturer logo-free Dallara DW12-Honda chassis now wearing IndyCar’s 2018 universal aero kit.
However, it was not his first time to be at this same circuit as he attended it last year ahead of his Indianapolis 500 debut with Andretti, he qualified fifth for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil and led 27 laps before a mechanical failure ended his race with a 24th place after completing 179 laps. Alonso was awarded Rookie of the year. Also, he would only the second driver to win motorsport's triple crown after Graham Hill should he win the Indianapolis 500 in the future?
Asking him about the weather today at the at Barber Motorsports Park, he said: “Yeah, it was a good day, a fun day. 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, 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.”
"It was something that I was looking for last year already," he said.
"I had some options to test the car on a road course after the IndyCar 500. We didn’t find the time but this year it’s definitely happened now and I’m happy about 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."
The McLaren team are believed to be exploring a partnership with a team already in the IndyCar Series to provide Alonso with the opportunity to participate there in 2019.