Fernando Alonso returned to prominence in practice for the United States Grand Prix by topping both of the day's practice sessions at Indianapolis, although McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton was once again not far behind the world champion.

After a week of headline making, Alonso proved his eye is still on the ultimate prize by pacing each session by a comfortable margin, the Spaniard's time of 1min 11.925secs in the morning just over four tenths better than championship leader Hamilton.

Taking advantage of the McLaren's new-found pace, Alonso was pleased to have emerged as the early front runner on a circuit that has rarely produced favourable results for him, but is anticipating rivals Ferrari and BMW to come on strong in qualifying nonetheless.

"It's nice to be back in Indianapolis and so far things are looking promising," he said. "As I have said before this track has never been kind to me, but I really want to do well this weekend. The car has been performing strongly at the last couple of races and today in practice, but I am sure that both Ferrari and BMW will be at the front as well.

"We completed our normal Friday practice programme looking at tyre evaluation and general set-up work. There is a lot of data to consider overnight, but so far things are looking good for the team."



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