Alonso Completes Rookie Orientation for Indianapolis 500

Photo Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar
Photo Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar

It was a successful first day of testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso, who passed the rookie orientation program.

Indianapolis 500 rookies are required to complete the rookie orientation program in order to reach certain speeds and lap times, and Alonso completed the requirement within the first hour of his 88-lap testing session. He set a top speed of 222.548 MPH.

“I think it’s a good way to start, to build speed,” Alonso said during a break. “It was difficult at (the) beginning to reach the minimum speed. The next stages felt good, not because of the speed but because of the laps. You’re able to fine-tune the lines; upshift, downshift, which gears to use in the corner.”

Team owner Mario Andretti said Alonso “did exactly what we knew he could do.”

Alonso will skip the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix to compete in this year’s Indy 500. He will get more time on the track later in the month when Indy 500 practice begins on May 15.

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A 22-year-old from Ontario, Canada, Tyson Lautenschlager is a Humber College journalism graduate. He is currently the managing editor of OnPitRoad and a chase producer at CTV News Channel in Toronto.