For the second year running, Fernando Alonso was the first driver to crash in practice for the Indianapolis 500.
The Spaniard, who has once again entered the hallowed Brickyard race with McLaren, was putting in the laps at the Speedway on Thursday when he hit the wall.
Exiting Turn 4, Alonso clipped the concrete apron with his left front wheel and made contact with the SAFER Barrier .
The No66 Ruoff Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet driver was pitched into a half spin before sliding into the inside pit wall.
Full course yellow during practice after an on-track incident with @alo_oficial.
— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) August 13, 2020
His car suffered damage but the double F1 World Champion was unhurt in the collision.
“It was the car, the grip of the car,” Alonso told the official IndyCar website.
“This place, the walls are coming very close. This is the way it is.
“Unfortunately, it happened again today. Hopefully it happens today instead of Sunday the 23rd.
“You learn every lap you do around here, and we learned from this.
“Tomorrow we start again. I think everything tomorrow is going to be OK.
“Let’s keep up the good work, and hopefully no more issues.”
Alonso finished the day eighth fastest of the 33 entrants, with his McLaren team-mates Oliver Askew and Patrick O’Ward 10th and 20th respectively.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) August 13, 2020
Thursday’s crash marks the second year in a row that Alonso has been the first to crash in practice for the Indianapolis 500.
Last year, also with McLaren, he lost it at Turn 3, kicking off what proved to be a wretched month of May. He ultimately failed to qualify for the race.
This is the Spaniard’s third attempt at the Brickyard event having first tried to bag his Triple Crown back in 2017, a race in which he was doing well before his Honda engine failed. That year he ran an Andretti entry.
Next year Alonso will be back in Formula 1, the 39-year-old having signed a multi-year deal to rejoin Renault for a third stint.
Alonso won his 2005 and 2006 World titles with the Renault team.