Alonso at Indy 'has exceeded expectations' - Brown

Alonso said he felt his biggest handicap in the race would be his lack of experience of running in groups of cars at speeds of 230mph. The last time a pole-sitter won the race was 2009, when Brazilian Helio Castroneves did it, and he is also the last back-to-back victor (2001 and 2002).

The two-time F1 world champion, Alonso, is missing the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend after his team, McLaren, allowed him to take part in the Indy 500 in a McLaren-Honda ran by Andretti Autosports.

"You will not know until the cars leave Turn 4 on the last lap who has got it - they might be racing to the line!" "If you're still on the lead lap, there's something that could go your way".

If you want to watch the Indy 500 this bank holiday weekend, keep reading for everything you need to know about the race - and more importantly where and how you can watch it. "There is a moment when you have to embrace the fact that you are not totally in control and have blind faith that the vehicle will stick". Our younger drivers grew up watching Fernando Alonso. "Actually, probably it was more the reaction to the media being right next to him every second that he was out of the auto". From the day I started I've had advice from everyone, from Michael [Andretti], from Mario [Andretti], my teammates, from Gil [de Ferran].at the end of the day you have to experience yourself the things that are happening and improvise.

"I hope to prove that I can win with speed and show that it's more than luck and strategy", said Rossi. But I am up for anything, and I still feel like I can deliver here.

"He's done awesome and, to be honest, to win the race he's going to be one of the guys you're going to have to beat", Dixon, a four times IndyCar Series champion, told Reuters on Tuesday during a promotional IndyCar stop in Toronto.

Former F1 driver Max Chilton, who now races for Chip Ganassi Racing, also knows only too well the dangers at Indianapolis - the Briton smashed into the barriers during qualifying past year. "You can win this race from anywhere, so it's a good place to be".

Dixon also told the AP that he'd still go back to Indianapolis' most infamous Taco Bell around 10 p.m. if he needed to in the future. For a man who has been in the spotlight so long, he makes it look like it's just another day at the office - but this race means so much more. "It changes completely the behaviour of the auto", he said. "I am coming to race", he says.

ROSSI: Well, I'd probably be punished if I didn't say the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"You watch the F1 guys, they are not as accessible, you can't talk to them, no autograph sessions", said Brazilian Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy victor.

After all, there's no denying that Castroneves and fellow 42-year-old IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan are in the backstretch of their racing careers.

"Yeah, four or five podiums, but it's one of those places where the podiums don't matter much", Andretti said. Things were smoother in the afternoon, where he placed 12th, but the British driver got flustered by other drivers.

"I think anyone can win the Indy 500 of the 33 drivers because it is an unpredictable race", he said.

  • Julie Sanders