Fernando Alonso says he will risk it “100%” to try and make it into the top 30 in qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 after suffering from a puncture on his first run.
With track temperatures rising throughout the day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the wind picking up shortly before Alonso’s first qualifying attempt, the McLaren driver struggled from his first lap and ended up posting an average of 225.113mph.
Slowest overall after 20 runners, a right-rear puncture was discovered when Alonso returned to the pits — leading to a track inspection — and the two-time Formula 1 world champion admits he will need to go back out and deliver a special performance later in qualifying to avoid having to try and make the 33 on Sunday.
“Let’s say on lap one or lap two I already felt that the balance was tricky,” Alonso told RACER. “I put it more down to the wind because the conditions were quite bad, as we knew they would be.
“The performance all week has been quite poor but if you add to that a rear right puncture and an unlucky draw yesterday — because the conditions now are quite windy — that obviously put us in a difficult position.
“So let’s hope for a better second half of the day. The qualifying is long — a lot of hours still to go now, so we’ll have more attempts, and one of those is hopefully enough to be in the top 30.”
Asked how much risk he’s going to have to take on his runs later today, Alonso replied: “100%. Always.”