SATO ON ALONSO’S AMAZINGINDY500
TAKUMA SATO COULDN’T HAVE CHOSEN A better time to win the Indianapolis 500. The eyes of the worldwere on the Brickyard back in May, due to Fernando Alonso’s decision to contes tt he raceinstead of the Monaco Grand Prix. Alonso starred,but i tw as his Andretti Autospor tt eam-mate Sato who triumphed.
“There was no doubt he would learn very quickly, and indeed he did,” says Sato. “He went to the simulator each morning,andthen the afternoon was actual track testing. The Indy 500 is actually the best race for a rookie because, unlike the other races where you have just two 45-minute sessions and then you go straight into qualifying, at the 500 you have a week of practice from noon to 5 or 6pm, so plenty of time to learn. Fernando was smiling every single day – he looked to be enjoying it and he was enjoying it. We talked a lot – debriefs and privately – and he had great fun and showed tremendous speed immediately.”
Could Alonso have won without his engine failure? Sato isn’t sure: “The first and last quarter of the race are completely different animals, and the