Fernando Alonso's preparations for his much anticipated Indianapolis 500 debut are underway after getting his first taste of the famous 'Brickyard' during a simulator session, as McLaren gave a glimpse of the car he will drive in the iconic race next month.

The Spaniard surprised the motorsport industry earlier this month by confirming he will take the start of the 101st running of the Indy 500 in a McLaren-supported, Honda-powered Andretti Autosport machine.

Set to embark on an intense schedule of testing and qualification to weave around his McLaren F1 race commitments, Alonso travelled to Alabama over the weekend to get a glimpse of IndyCar Series action, before getting a chance in the simulator to trial the 'Brickyard' oval for the first time.

It comes as McLaren confirmed it will - as expected - run the Andretti Autosport machine in the famous Papaya Orange colours of its IndyCar predecessors.

McLaren competed in the event during the 1970s but while the famous colours have not been present since 1979, CEO Zak Brown has hinted there is scope for more appearances in the future as part of its collaboration with Honda.

Alonso will now travel to Sochi to return to F1 duties with this weekend's Russian Grand Prix.

CLICK HERE to get a full rundown of Alonso's VERY busy schedule in the coming month.

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