McLaren IndyCar’s Fernando Alonso explains Indy 500 practice crash

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso has explained the cause of his crash in IndyCar practice for the 2019 Indianapolis 500.

Alonso’s #66 McLaren Racing-Chevrolet made contact at Turn 3, having added 46 laps to his total of 50 on Tuesday.

Why Alonso’s second Indy 500 will be much harder

The former Formula 1 driver was running directly behind Graham Rahal at Turn 3 when the car pushed wide, glancing off the SAFER barrier at corner exit.

The McLaren then bounced over the grass on the inside of the corner, making rear contact with the SAFER barrier on the inside, before coming to rest at the entry of Turn 4 after touching the wall for a third time just before the final turn.

Alonso has since been checked and cleared to drive again by the medical centre.

“It was understeer on the car, and even if I lifted the throttle on the entry of the corner, it was not enough, and I lost completely the front aero,” said Alonso.

“The wall came too close and too quickly. Unfortunately, it happened today. We will lose a little bit of running time again.

“I’m sorry for the team, but we will learn and hopefully we will come back stronger tomorrow.

“I’m disappointed and sad for the team and for the guys.

“We worked quite a lot on the car and definitely now it’s quite damaged, so I feel sorry for the team and for my mistake.

“We will learn from this and hopefully tomorrow we’re back on track and back stronger.”

Asked if he had felt something loose on the car, Alonso said: “No, I think it was just pure understeer that I didn’t expect.

“I was running a bit close to another car and suddenly mid-corner I lost completely the front grip. I tried to lift off and avoid the wall.”

McLaren has tweeted to say it is “evaluating” the damage caused to Alonso’s car, and has yet to decide whether it will return to the track today.

The team will not use a back-up car tomorrow as it is opting to repair Alonso’s damaged machine instead.

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