By Luke SmithFollow @LukeSmithF1 on Twitter

The news in Formula 1 over the past 10 days has been dominated by one man: Fernando Alonso.

Since announcing his shock entry to the Indianapolis 500 for 2017 as part of a joint effort between McLaren, Honda and Andretti, Alonso's motives and decision to miss the Monaco Grand Prix have faced much scrutiny from the racing paddocks on both sides of the pond.

Alonso is set for one of the busiest months of his career, but what exactly will his schedule look like? Here is a run-down of where Alonso will be and when on his road to Indy.

April 22 - Alonso and McLaren executive director Zak Brown will fly to the United States, landing on Saturday afternoon.

April 23 - Alonso will appear at Barber Motorsports Park for the IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama, meeting his Andretti crew for the Indy 500 and taking part in a news conference. He'll also be able to get his first-hand taste of what the cars look and sound like, as well as eyeing up the opposition.

April 24-26 - A short break follows before Alonso flies to Sochi ahead of the Russian Grand Prix.

April 27-30 - Alonso will be occupied with duties over the Russian GP weekend, ranging from media sessions on Thursday - when he will likely face countless questions about the '500 once again - to the on-track action from Friday through to Sunday.

May 3 - May 3 will mark Alonso's first taste of IndyCar after the series granted the Spaniard a one-off test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway given his lack of experience with either Indy cars or ovals. The test will run from 9am to 5pm. Alonso will also take time during his visit to the United States to visit Andretti's workshop in Indianapolis and try out its simulator.

May 10-14 - Once back in Europe, Alonso will be tied up with duties for his home F1 race, the Spanish Grand Prix, on the outskirts of Barcelona through this weekend. Once he crosses the line and finishes the race, he won't get back into an F1 car for almost a month.

May 15 - After flying overnight from Barcelona, Alonso will take part in the opening day of Indy 500 practice running at IMS on Monday. Six hours of running are allocated for the first day, two of which are set aside for rookies - including Alonso.

FEATURE: How McLaren is saving itself off track if it can't win on it

May 16-19 - Alonso will get six hours of practice running on each of these four days as part of the regular practice sessions for the 500.

May 20 - Alonso will take part in Indy 500 qualifying's first stage on Saturday. All drivers are afforded one qualifying attempt, taking to the track in the order of a random draw. Each attempt comprises four laps, with an average speed being used to create an order. The top nine drivers will be locked in to the 'Fast Nine', meaning they can qualify no lower than ninth on Sunday. Drivers from P10 to P33 will take part in the regular qualifying the next day.

May 21 - Drivers from P10 to P33 get another shot at improving their qualifying position on Sunday, with the timesheets being wiped. The fastest driver in Group 1 will start the race 10th. Following this, the Fast Nine will take part in qualifying in reverse order to how they finished on Saturday, each getting on attempt. The fastest man will secure pole position for the 101st Indianapolis 500, won in 2016 by James Hinchcliffe.

May 22 - Fresh from qualifying for the '500, Alonso will get his final all-day practice run on Monday, enjoying another six hours of running at IMS.

May 23-25 - Drivers have no on-track duties during this three-day break, with Brown offering Alonso the chance to go to Chicago and take a chance to relax. Alonso has already turned this down, instead saying he wants to spend this time getting to know his crew and working with the Andretti team ahead of the race. He'll likely take part in some of the media tour in the United States that sees drivers visit cities promoting the race.

May 26 - The Friday before the '500 is known as 'Carb Day' - an old tradition saw the teams tune their carburettors for race day - which acts as final practice. Another one-and-a-half hours of running will be on offer for Alonso, before the most important event of the day: the pit stop contest.

Crews compete to service their cars in the fastest time, with Helio Castroneves currently being the man to beat, having won the contest with Penske seven times since 2006. While Alonso may be used to sub-two-second stops in F1, here a time around 12 seconds will be good enough for victory.

May 27 - The day before the Indy 500 is 'Legends Day', which acts as a big fan event. Autograph sessions are held before a concert for fans to attend. There is no on-track running.

May 28 - After watching his McLaren colleagues race in Monaco in the morning (due to start at 7am in Indianapolis), Alonso will take part in all the pre-race festivities including the driver introductions before gearing up for lights out at 12:20pm (6:20pm UK).

When the green flag drops, 200 laps of motorsport's most famous oval will follow, acting as a battle of both performance and endurance that all drivers must balance. The winner will head into Victory Lane around three hours later having put their name in the history books, and will be rewarded with a cool bottle of milk, as is tradition. Alonso has already said he wants full-fat milk should he pull off one of motorsport's greatest victories.

May 29 - The week that follows the 500 will largely depend on how Alonso does. If he were to win at the first attempt, a whirlwind media tour in the United States would follow with the Borg-Warner Trophy, with the surrounding hype surely amplified by his story. If Alonso fails to win, though, he will likely spend a couple of days chilling out following a hectic few weeks before turning his attention back to F1.

June 8 - Almost one month after his last appearance in the F1 paddock, Alonso will return in McLaren colours for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal on June 8. Normality - complete with an underpowered Honda engine - will most probably resume...

Latest Tweets from & GPF1rst



Loading Comments...