Power offers Indy 500 advice to Alonso

Fernando Alonso

Will Power has advised Fernando Alonso to take a steady approach to his Indianapolis 500 campaign with the Spaniard set to make his oval racing debut in IndyCar’s marquee event in May.

Alonso has confirmed plans to enter the 500 mile race in a McLaren-backed Andretti Autosport, Honda powered entry, which will see him miss the Monaco Grand Prix.

Power expressed his excitement at the shock news but has warned the McLaren Formula 1 driver needs to approach the superspeedway with care.

“Creep up slowly,” said Power when asked if he had any advice for Alonso.

“I think in these cars you get a sense of comfort around there, until it catches you out.

“It’s like Kurt Busch,” added Power as he drew comparisons to the NASCAR full-timer’s impressive drive to sixth in his only Indy 500 start in 2014.

“He did a phenomenal job, he’s obviously an amazing talent, but he had that one bobble and then he said, ‘Oh yeah, now I see what you guys mean.’”

“You’ve got to creep up slower. Don’t do something that you’re not sure of.”

Scott Dixon, who won the 2008 Indianapolis 500, believes that the two-time world drivers’ champion will be competitive on the superspeedway despite the differences between F1 and oval racing.

“He’s a hell of a driver, maybe one of the greatest of all time, so on the driving aspect I’m sure he’s going to be fine,” said the New Zealander.

“It’s just procedures, (for example) how you trim out for qualifying, but as with anything, just give it a little bit of time and someone of his calibre is going to be perfectly fine.”

Power hopes that a strong showing for Alonso would encourage more F1 drivers to race in American open-wheel racing’s signature event, akin to the impression Busch’s ‘double duty’ (Indianapolis 500 and Charlotte 600) made in 2014.

“I think Kurt Busch really started a trend for the NASCAR guys,” Power explained.

“You see a couple of the other guys interested and because he showed that you can turn up and do it well and I think that’ll be similar with Alonso.

“If he has a great car, he’ll be right up there so I think that will set a trend, which is great for IndyCar.”

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