Fernando Alonso is setting his sights firmly on pole position in the Indianapolis 500 after successfully qualifying for the pole shootout ahead of his much anticipated debut.

Having spent the week steadily building up his speed around the famed 'Brickyard', Alonso saved his best for qualifying by turning in a 230.034mph average - peaking at 230.337mph -, enough to give him a fine seventh on the timesheets and a guaranteed position on the first three rows.

One of four Andretti-backed drivers to make it into the definitive phase of qualifying, two-time F1 world champion Alonso was delighted to make it into the 'Fast 9' even if he says he was not getting the 'maximum from the car'.

"The laps I could improve a bit, I was not extracting the maximum from the car," he said. "I keep learning. Tomorrow, I will use that lesson and be quicker. The team did a fantastic job to put me in a car that was able to run 230 but there is still more to come. I didn't maximize the potential of it in Laps three and four."

"It was unthinkable [to make it into the Fast 9] probably... Not because you don't trust yourself or whatever, but there are many little ingredients here that you need to put together to find the right recipe.

"There is the wind, the trim, the high boost you only have a few laps to test with on Fast Friday and today the conditions changed every single lap."

With a top nine start guaranteed, Alonso nonetheless says he will be heading into the session with a view to going all the way to pole position.

"Everyone will pick up speed. After today's run we will tune the car a bit and try to be a bit more competitive. When I close the visor, you have to be sure I will go for it."