Fernando Alonso will begin his 500-mile Indianapolis test earlier than expected, on Wednesday after the next F1 race in Russia.
Alonso will miss Monaco GP to perform at Indy 500, which will be held on May 29th, where he will drive for McLaren Honda Andretti Autosport, winning team from last year.
The Spaniard will visit the Barber IndyCar race this weekend and his test at Indianapolis is scheduled for May 3, Wednesday after Russian GP in Sochi.
Team boss Michael Andretti, who will be in charge of Alonso strategy in the race, said he will explore the possibility of Alonso taking the first laps on the oval before the official training for Indy 500, and now it is confirmed that this will happen, reports Autosport.
Alonso would otherwise have to wait on May 15 when rookie training for the Indy 500, a day after Spanish GP, was scheduled.
“One good thing in this situation is that we know how to deal with the rookie, and we have to treat ALonso as a rookie,” said Andretti, whose team will have six cars at Indy 500.
“But we know what talent Alonso is, he will soon reach the speed of his teammates.”
“The next step will be to get used to traffic, and we’ll do it when it feels safe in an independent run, and then we’ll work on it.”
“The advantage is that he has a lot of teammates who can help him if he has questions.”
Alonso will first use high downforce settings to make his first laps easier and then downforce levels will decrease as his confidence grows.
Low level downforce is needed to keep the IndyCar car fast enough on straights that dominate the oval, but car with less downforce is much more difficult to drive so they want to give Alonso some tome to adapt to new machine.