Sebastien Bourdais leads Fast Friday Indy 500 practice, F1's Alonso fourth


Two of Honda's top contenders, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Graham Rahal (who lost a motor on Monday) and RLLR teammate Oriol Servia had differing takes on Honda's low-mileage edict.

Spanish Formula One driver Fernando Alonso is missing this year's Monaco Grand Prix - a race he's won twice.

Fernando Alonso is set to face his biggest test yet in an Indy 500 vehicle as he gets himself ready for the qualifying which takes place this weekend.

With the turboboost on all engines raised from 1.3-bar to 1.4 in preparation for the weekend's qualifying runs, the Frenchman turned a 233.116mph lap on his 11 lap with the aid of a tow from a rival, but then later set a 231.192mph in the middle of a four-lap qualifying simulation, with no drafting help. More rain is expected both days of qualifying, too. But even though rain hasn't been a factor yet this year, track conditions have been at their most hard. It took a little time to get comfortable, but the team did a great job preparing me.

Alonso played himself in slowly, posting the 19th fastest speed on opening day. "I still miss more laps, but we will try to make the most of it on Friday with the more power we have and try to learn from that".

Penske's other three drivers - two-time race victor Juan Pablo Montoya, defending series champion Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden - each have started on Indy's three-car front row in the past.

Hincliffe hopes a successful race by Alonso will open other top drivers' eyes to the prospect of competing at Indianapolis in future.

The Spaniard has generally spent two hours each morning in the Honda Performance Development simulator about 10 miles from the Speedway before buckling in for practice in the afternoon.

"I think it's very impressive", Sato told reporters. "Obviously, the more laps I do, the better I feel". The anthem, the circuit, the racing - I'm very thankful to experience it. "Here I am, a veteran driver, but it's all brand new to me".

It was another Andretti Autosport driver, Takuma Sato in the No. 26 Honda, who logged the fastest lap without benefit of an aerodynamic tow from a leading vehicle (224.734 mph).