McLaren F1 driver Fernando Alonso seems to have got up to speed with IndyCar driving after just four days of practice, but are any of us surprised?
The Spaniard passed rookie orientation at his first private test and then completed the rookie test session, finishing quickest, before practice one.
He’s been gradually building up speed all week and was fourth in practice three, although tricky conditions with high winds meant only 14 drivers turned meaningful laps.
But 32 drivers put in quick laps in practice four on Thursday and Alonso managed to end the day fourth once again.
It’s not all that surprising, as we know Alonso’s ridiculous amount of talent, but oval driving is a very different beast. So, it’s still very impressive.
Jay Howard was fastest with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, with Andretti drivers taking the next three places – Alonso being the last of them in P4.
He put in a 39.8902-second lap on day four of practice and a best average lap speed of 225.619mph, just behind his experienced team-mates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti.
Josef Newgarden was fifth for Penske despite becoming the first driver to suffer a big shunt in Indy 500 preparations.
There’s still a long way to go before Alonso’s first Indy 500 and we never know what set-ups people are running, but fourth in a full practice session is still a very good start.
He’s even got the hang of this overtaking malarkey.
Alonso’s definitely picked up driving at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway quickly, it’s a good start to his Month of May. That’s for sure.