Double Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso will start next weekend’s Indianapolis 500 from 26th place. 

Alonso, who is chasing the ‘triple crown’ of motorsport by becoming just the second driver after Graham Hill to win the Indy 500, Monaco Grand Prix, and Le Mans 24 Hours, qualified 26th out of the 33 drivers taking part.

The 39-year-old Spaniard managed a four-lap average speed of 228.768mph and was third of the three cars entered by McLaren Arrow SP. 

Could Nico Hulkenberg Return To F1 In 2021? | F1 Features |

Having recovered from a crash during practice, Alonso will start from the ninth row on the grid for the 104th running of the race at the famous Brickyard oval on August 23 in what is his third Indy 500 attempt.

Alonso qualified fifth in a McLaren-branded Andretti Autosport car in 2017 but his promising debut was cut short by a Honda engine failure, before he failed to qualify on his return to Indianapolis last year. 

"Did not have the speed but happy with the run,” said Alonso, who is returning to the F1 grid next season after a two-year hiatus with Renault. “Some interesting people around our position.

"Always very intense for four laps at Indy! Now one day less for the big one. Race car felt good."

American Marco Andretti recorded the quickest four-lap average of 231.351mph for his Honda-powered Andretti Autosport team which ended Saturday with the fastest four cars.

Alonso’s McLaren Arrow SP teammates Patricio O'Ward and Oliver Askew qualified 15th and 21st respectively, while last year’s Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud was just ahead of the two-time F1 champion in 25th and the reigning IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden was 13th.

Jack Harvey was the highest-placed British driver in 20th place for Meyer Shank Racing. Fellow Brit and former Marussia F1 driver Max Chilton was 30th in his Carlin.