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Fernando Alonso gets his first taste of running in traffic at Indy

Fernando Alonso says he is learning quickly after his first two days of practice at the Indy 500.

The two-time world champion's assault on this year's race is now in full swing and on Tuesday he completed 117 laps in his Andretti Autosport-entered McLaren-Honda. He set the 24th fastest time of the 33 cars taking part, with a fastest lap of 221.029mph -- Will Power's 224.656 was the fastest of the day -- and was able to get his first taste of running in traffic alongside his five Andretti Autosport teammates.

Alonso said there was so much to learn on his first two days in the car that he had not yet had a chance to refine his setup for a quick lap.

"In the morning I go to the simulator and in the afternoon I come here, I keep doing laps and laps and learning," he said. "We didn't put everything together because there is no time to put it [together for a quick lap] and we keep experimenting on the setup and running in traffic. But I think we will arrive quite OK for qualifying and the race."

After a private test day earlier in the month, Alonso said his biggest challenges would be learning to run in traffic and use the slipstream of other cars to make progress through the field. After a suspension issue limited his track time on Monday, Alonso finally got to run with other cars on Tuesday afternoon.

"It felt OK, it felt as I expected," he added. "Here it is very important to keep close to the car in front of you and take the benefit on the next straight. It was useful. I'm in the best team for that, we have six cars and we were running together and my teammates were amazing in helping me and I knew that they were taking care of me for some moments of the runs.

"It's the first time for me, learning here and there every lap when I follow them and what they do with how the approach the next corner or the next lap to prepare the overtaking, so it was a very useful and a very productive day."

For a full report of the second day of practice at the Indy 500, click here.