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Emergency engine change for Alonso ahead Indy 500 qualifying

Fernando Alonso’s groundworks for the Fast Nine qualifying session at the Indianapolis 500 have been hit by an unscheduled power unit change.

The Spaniard had no reported engine problems on his No. 29 McLaren/Andretti Autosport Honda this week but, following Saturday’s practice session in which he set the fastest average speed at 231.317 mph, videos on social media showed smoke coming out of Alonso’s car in the garage.

Double F1 world champion has faced numerous Honda power unit problems in F1 this year already, with his 12th place at the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend marking the first time he has finished a race this season.

“I think similar,” Alonso said when asked to compared his Brickyard running to F1 qualifying. “All qualifyings are tricky. I go to my go-kart place and when I put on new tires and have 15 kids watching me with the timer in their hands, it’s very tough.

“So every qualifying you do you go against the physics of the car and the physics of the circuit at that particular moment. So it gets stressful, it gets difficult, tricky, but a the same time huge adrenaline when you cross the line.”

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