Thanks to an incredibly widely watched full live stream, over a million viewings of at least some of Fernando Alonso’s first IndyCar shakedown day have taken place.
Shortly after the car was revealed for the first time, Alonso was climbing in to take it on its maiden run for many, many laps of the Brickyard.
A highlight of the almost-seven hour stream was Alonso swerving to miss a bird which had landed on the track. Another was when he hit two about 30 minutes later, travelling at about 350km/h.
“I didn’t see that coming,” he told press after the run, “I saw one bird approaching Turn 3 in the penultimate run, and I just lift off and avoid the bird. Probably I will not do that on the race day.”
“But today I save one life there. I didn’t manage to save the other two.”
Alonso ended the day after achieving a top speed of over 355km/h on one of his 110 laps. It wasn’t the one with the birds.
Racing for McLaren Andretti Autosport, Alonso says he was hopeful about his chances, but that if he simply enjoyed his time there regardless of placing, he’d be happy with that.
“At the moment I’m coming to have a great experience. In the best race in the world, you are one of the 33 drivers on the grid, which is on its own just amazing.”
“But after that, when you close the visor on Sunday or after qualifying, you don’t like it when you’re second. It’s the same in every sport.”
“First priority is to enjoy, but we are all competitive drivers, and we all want to do the best we can.”
For your convenience, here’s the full livestream of the shakedown, brought to you by IndyCar’s YouTube channel.