'Laser-focused' Alonso can win Indy 500



      Indy 500: Zak Brown confident of Alonso success


    Indy 500: Zak Brown confident of Alonso success 02:59

    Story highlights

    • Fernando Alonso tipped for Indy success
    • Spaniard made track debut on Wednesday
    • Indy 500 takes place on May 28

    (CNN)Only nine rookies have ever won the Indianapolis 500 during its 100-year history but Fernando Alonso can join their illustrious ranks later this month, according to his Formula One team boss.

    Speaking to CNN following the Spaniard's successful first track test in an Indy Car, McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown is tipping his star driver for success stateside.
      "I think he can win," Brown told CNN's World Sport. "He's going in with the mindset of doing the best job possible and if he's able to do that, and if he's got a good car underneath him -- which he does -- he's absolutely capable of winning.
      The McLaren-Honda Andretti car that Fernando Alonso will drive at Indianapolis on May 28.
      "There's about 15 people who can win the race -- to give you a sense of how competitive it is -- and he is one of those," Brown added. "He knows it's a long way to the race and so he's just laser focused."
      Alonso completed 110 laps on Wednesday clocking a top speed of 222.6 mph (358 kph) on the famous banked oval in his McLaren-Honda Andretti car.
      There were only a handful of people trackside to witness Alonso's debut, but hundreds of thousands of motorsport fans tuned in online to watch the two-time F1 world champion on a live stream hosted by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
      The Spaniard was upbeat after the test, but admitted that there is still much to learn.
      "I am very excited about the race but now that I've tested the car I'm much more focused on work," Alonso said in a post-test press conference.
      "There are so many technical things to go through with the guys so all the emotional aspect (about the race) is a second priority now."
      Fernando Alonso completed his first laps in an Indy Car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
      Alonso is aiming to become the 11th F1 driver to win the Indy 500 following in the footsteps of former world champions Jim Clark and Graham Hill -- winners in 1965 and 1966 respectively -- and the 1995 champion Jacques Villeneuve.
      Another ex-F1 driver, American Alexander Rossi, who raced five times for the Manor Marussia team in 2015, won the Indy 500 as a rookie 12 months ago.
      Alonso has been starved of F1 success in recent seasons -- his last victory came at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix for his former team Ferrari.
      The 35-year-old has endured a miserable run of results since rejoining McLaren in 2015 as the once-mighty British team struggle for reliability and performance from its Honda engine.