Fernando Alonso believes he could have had a shot at pole for the Indy 500 in yesterday’s Fast Nine Shootout without an engine overboost issue.
The McLaren Honda Andretti driver ended the session fifth, with a 231.300mph average, thus securing an impressive spot in the middle of the second row for next Sunday’s Indy 500.
Alonso’s effort was hindered by an overboost issue which hit him on the second lap.
Indycar regulations stipulate that if an overboost kicks in, taking the pressure above the allowed limit of 1.4 bar, the ECU will cut the power to erase any advantage.
“I had an overboost problem on Lap 2 out of the last corner and it was like hitting the brakes,” he told Motorsport.com.
“I went one gear down and started again picking up the speed. I crossed the line and I thought it was 225mph or something!
“I nearly came into the pitlane because [I thought] ‘This qualifying run is over, with this problem.’ But I was happily surprised with the final time.”
- Video: Watch four remarkable qualifying laps by Fernando Alonso
Beating Scott Dixon’s pole-winning average of 232.164mph would have been a tall order for Alonso, even without an overboost problem.
“Today, the car performed better than yesterday and we were very, very competitive, so probably we were very close to pole position today.
“Maybe we would be up there with Scott now [without the problem],” he said.
“But once you have secured the Fast Nine, it doesn’t change too much where we start.”
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