Fernando Alonso walks away from crash during practice for Indy 500

Jose Verdugo
May 16, 2019

His auto smacked the wall, shot across the track, through the grass and into an interior wall, then went back across the track and into the wall again.

The two-time Formula One champion competed in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time in 2017 with Andretti Autosport in a partnership with McLaren, starting fifth and finishing 24th after a mechanical issue sidelined the auto on the 179th lap of the 200-lap race.

Alonso immediately exited his machine under his own power, and was later checked and released from the infield medical center.

"Pure understeer on the auto, I lifted the throttle, and it was not enough", Alonso told Welch. The wall came too close and too quickly.

Now, McLaren must decide if it will attempt to rebuild its auto or use the backup built by technical partner Carlin. We will lose a little bit of running time again.

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The team said it was unlikely they would run again on Wednesday, but there was a small possibility they might get out for a few laps at the end of day if they felt they could get the vehicle ready without rushing it.

Gil de Ferran, the sporting director for McLaren, told Welch in a separate interview that it was too early to decide whether the team would go to a backup auto or fix its primary. "We'd been fighting understeer this morning, and it looks like he just understeered into the wall and that was that".

"We'll just huddle around the auto and assess the situation in the coming hours", de Ferran said.

McLaren have set up a new team to run Alonso at the prestigious Indy 500 this year as he seeks to become only the second man in history to complete motorsport's unofficial "triple crown", which also includes the Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans 24 Hours, both of which he has already won. "I tried to lift off and avoid the wall".

"It felt much better than yesterday". "Definitely we were moving in the right direction. Lesson learned. We will be back stronger later today or tomorrow", he wrote on social media. Unfortunately, it happened today. "I'm sorry for the guys".

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