Fernando Alonso admits that his 2019 effort at the Indianapolis 500 will be made more difficult due to the changed regulations in IndyCar since his previous effort in 2017. Alonso's previous tilt at the race came before IndyCar switched to a universal aerodynamic kit on all cars.
Alonso will drive a McLaren entry at the Brickyard next month as he goes in search of the 'Triple Crown' – needing to add the Indy 500 to previous victories at the Monaco GP and Le Mans 24 Hours to match Graham Hill's unique feat.
The two-time world champion got his hands on modern IndyCar machinery on Tuesday, driving a sister McLaren car around the Texas Motor Speedway.
With a test to come at Indianapolis later this month, Alonso is not reading too much into his run in Fort Worth, but says he is expecting a renewed challenge come race day.
"I remain on the idea that this universal kit is said to be more difficult to drive with a little bit less downforce," Alonso told IndyCar's official website.
"So you need to optimise the setup a little bit different with this kit and it will depend on a little bit of that week [during the test at Indianapolis] on the wind conditions, the temperature and, more importantly, especially for me, how these kits behave in traffic.
"It's a little bit more of an unknown situation for all of us. We believe in different philosophies in terms of setup and ways to prepare the cars.
"So we are experimenting those. We started with a baseline setup that we know has been used in the past, but slowly we tried to test different things. Today was the first day and in Indianapolis it's going to be a little bit more deep into that.
"A lot of work on the simulator [has been done] as well to explore these different roads, and let's see what we can find."