Button has a giggle on his return to Monaco

But, the Indy 500 actually has a long history of F1 drivers choosing to race at the Indianapolis "Brickyard" instead of the Grand Prix.

"It is very different to past year in terms of how late you can brake", said Button, who was one place behind and just 0.035 seconds slower than team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne. Castroneves is +1000 to win it this year but has not won a race since 2014.

OH rookie Zach Veach is driving for four-time Indy 500 victor A.J. Foyt in the Sunday, May 28 Indianapolis 500. I think 100 per cent.

"He's one of the greats of motor racing in the world", Dixon said of Alonso. "I mean, it's different if you're 14th and in the middle of everything as you're going through Turn 1".

Mario Andretti says Fernando Alonso should consider a full season in IndyCar next year because his chance of finding a winning Formula One auto are so slim. But the two rookies are in unison with how awe inspiring it is to be considered "Indy 500 drivers".

Fernando Alonso is widely regarded as one of the best drivers ever to get into a Formula One auto.

Cars regularly maintain speeds at more than 230mph and have, at times, ran five cars side-by-side on the straights with inches separating them from potential catastrophe.

He says he's done all he can to learn about IndyCar in such a short amount of time.

Alonso was flawless in the test despite never having driven on a superspeedway in the vehicle used in the Indy 500.

ROSSI: It actually started a year ago in the month of May. I don't know. We'll just give it our best shot.

Alexander Rossi, the defending 500 champion, says their team is ready.

"We've had a strong auto all month".

"People are a huge problem because everyone in Indianapolis has a job right now", said Michael Shank, co-owner of Harvey's No. 50 vehicle. "So now we just have to capitalize on that".

Dixon still had to weather the runs of Japan's Takuma Sato and Carpenter. There might not be space for me to do a full championship because the team doesn't have it, but there will be a space to fill a auto for me here because they know how good I am here.

"We struggled earlier in the week with straight-out speed and just worked on it day to day, but as we progressed and especially once we got to Fast Friday we found some speed". Power starts ninth on Sunday, his ninth straight year qualifying inside the top 10 for the race. 2000 Indy 500 victor Juan Pablo Montoya is next for Penske, starting 18th.

Fernando Alonso's decision to try and secure part two of his attempted Triple Crown could well be bad news for Formula One, according to one man that knows what it takes to make the crossover to the Indianapolis 500. Penske teammates Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud start 22nd and 23rd, respectively. NESN Fuel's coverage begins a half-hour before the green flag waves with our live pre-race show on NESN.com's Facebook page. Chicago Blackhawks anthem singer and IU School of Music grad Jim Cornelison will sing "Back Home Again In Indiana", followed by the national anthem, sung by pop star Bebe Rexha.

Pre-race coverage starts at 5 a.m. and you can hear the race in its entirety on 93 WIBC.

  • Julie Sanders