Alonso: I will be happy with Indy 500 result regardless

That was pretty cool.

"With no experience, for me you're not sure sometimes where you are with that line - if you are over the limits of the vehicle, or over the limits of running with the traffic".

"The thing I've noticed the most, and the piece most important to his participation, is the way he's embraced it".

"He's done unbelievable 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.

"That was an abnormal experience, and something that was very, very special". I think it's a good story.

Button, who took pole and won in Monaco in 2009 en route to his drivers' title with Brawn, confessed that although he hasn't exactly been pining to get back in an F1 cockpit, he relished the challenge of the new cars.

Although the race is relatively fresh in his mind, last year's victor, Alexander Rossi, remembers the hours following his surprising victory as a blur.

Herta tackled Indy five times, had three top 10 finishes, two top fives, and a basic idea of how to deal with 200-laps in two hours or less at better then 200 mph.

It's being labeled a "Race of Two Worlds" by McLaren.

"It never goes smoothly here, " Herta told the media this week. 2000 Indy 500 victor Juan Pablo Montoya is next for Penske, starting 18th.

Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Ed Jones was second on the time sheet in the incident-free session, his best lap at 228.118 miles per hour in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

Yes, he speaks with a lite British lilt in his voice, but no, he is not from Europe.

Both drivers worked their way up from the early open-wheel ranks of the sport, in go-karting.

"This one - it's like winning it makes the motivation to win again so much higher, and I can only imagine that compounds the more you do and the more you don't win".

When he was 17, Rossi went to England with dreams of becoming an F-1 driver.

Alonso's rapid progress and commitment since announcing he was racing last month has drawn widespread praise from his team, IndyCar fans, rival drivers and former champions. Starting right next to Montoya in 19th is three-time Indy 500 victor Helio Castroneves; it's the worst starting position he's ever had in the 500. "He's got a great group of people around him... helping him and guiding him". And even he was surprised at the outcome. "We're a racing team, but also have other businesses". "I've always said I am a professional race auto driver and not always have raced where I wanted to race". It is good to see Honda put the screws to the engine and obviously pull out some fast speeds and we get to sit on the pole for the third time. He's now ninth in the points race. The larger topic at hand on returning for the 102nd Indy 500, and possibly as a full-time entrant, will be discussed once the checkered flag has waved over the 101st. "There is a certain amount of responsibility they have in the negotiated price and time your auto can stay there, but nearly 99% of the time anything that happens to it there or inside at IMS still puts the liability issue in your lap, not theirs!"

  • Arturo Norris