The mediocre week for Fernando Alonso and McLaren Racing got even worse as he is in danger of not qualifying for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.

Electrical problems on Tuesday and a crash on Wednesday left the 32-year-old Spaniard and team behind the eight ball as they spent Thursday preparing the backup car. That left him just one day of practice yesterday ahead of today's qualifying session.

He fared no better today went first when a right-rear tyre puncture slowed his first qualifying run and left him to bump his way into the Top 30 to secure a spot for next weekend's 500-mile classic. His speed increased as he made five attempts to get back in the show but he was bumped by JR Hildebrand late in the session.

The driver of the No. 66 McLaren Racing Chevrolet noted that the stilted run came at the worst time as track temperatures were at the optimal and left little room for improvement on his subsequent runs.

"I think the conditions were OK, but we have a rear puncture at that time, so we wait now until the afternoon to see the conditions, see if they were a bit cooler, and they did, so yeah, we took the chance another two, three runs to improve,” he said.

"We slightly improved the average lap, but yeah, it was not enough to be in the top 30 unfortunately, so yeah, we need to try again tomorrow, and now stay calm. Obviously it's a difficult moment for everyone in the team and for me, but there's not much we can do now."

Alonso will battle with Sage Karam, Patricio O' Ward, Max Chilton, James Hinchcliffe and Kyle Kaiser for a berth in the field of 33. Having the rough day behind him, Alonso added that he will take whatever happens tomorrow in stride.

"I think today I approached like they were the last four laps," he said. "You try to go in, and yeah, more or less you are happy with your run, but then when you see the times, it's not enough, obviously. Not much we can do at the moment.

"Tomorrow we'll try to do these four laps clean, no mistakes, try to be flat all four, and then if it's enough to be in the top three of the six, we'll take it, and we will try to do a good race.

"If it's not enough and we are fourth of six, it's what we deserve. There were maybe three cars quicker than us. So nothing we can do more than that."

Alonso made a grand gesture and sighted autographs for a group of fans after he was bumped in the waning moments of the session. He indicated that it was imperative to not snub them despite his situation not being the greatest.

“You open the motor home, they are there; you go out to the garage, they are there; you go in the bathroom, they are there,” he explained. “So sometimes you stop, sometimes you don't. But yeah, they are out of the emotions and out of the environment that you are in on that moment.

“Maybe you jump out of the car, but for them it's like you were walking there. They didn't see what you were doing the last 10 minutes. So it's not something that they can control. You try to be nice with most of them, but I understand that a lot of them, they are not happy at the end of the day. So you try to do the best way you can.”



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