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For you guys, this is normal // Alonso charms the crowds with Indy 500 thank you speech

Published by Christine

If you saw any of the Indy 500 action this past weekend, you'll know two thinks about how Fernando Alonso fared: firstly, that he didn't make it to the end of the race which was heartbreaking to see, but secondly, that he did an incredible job throughout the race and was seriously impressive on his debut. It's not just us that noticed that, either. At the Indy 500 Victory Banquet, Alonso was awarded the Rookie of the Race trophy.

This is an event held to allow drivers time to thank their teams, and is a great insight for fans to see their favourites in a new light. Alonso made a brilliant speech, available to view in the video and transcript below, thanking everyone important, cracking a few jokes along the way, and really just looking like he had the best time. He may not have won the race, but he definitely won over a lot of the more skeptical Indy 500 fans and drivers.

"Hello, I will read some notes. I thought I should write some notes, this is probably a one or two in a lifetime speech, so I wanted to get it right. It has been an incredibly intense few weeks since we decided we would take part in the Indy 500, and I have enjoyed every second of it. Maybe not that much when my car stopped. At least it was clear which side I had to park the car, as my steering has been turning left for the last three weeks, so it was clear, at least, on that way.

I have always believed that a complete driver should prove himself in a different series of motorsport, and this is one of the reasons I came here. We entered this race also with the aim of linking two different worlds of motorsport and I believe we have achieved this. in spite of Tony Kanaan's several warnings, and by the way mate, I can see you are not wearing my cap, I am glad I can say I have made it nearly unscratched throughout the whole month of May. It is the first time I do so many activities off track, so many photos, so many autographs. We even flew to another city in the middle of the event. For you guys this is normal, but trust me, it is not normal.

Then you want to focus and concentrate on the race, so you come to the grid and you hardly can find your car, so finally, you jump in the car, you think you are finally alone and concentrating, but you have two spotters who tell you how to drive inside, outside. It has been a privilege to take part in this iconic race so my congratulations go to the Hulman George family on such a great event and I want to thank everyone who has made this possible.

Thanks to McLaren-Honda-Andretti who gave me this great chance. Michael, thanks for welcoming me so warmly. Everyone at Andretti Autosport has made me feel at home and I can say I have found a new family here. What a team.

Thanks to Zak Brown and everyone at McLaren and Honda for the great effort and energy you all have put into this project. Thanks to all my teammates: Ryan, Marco, Alex, Jack and Taku who have looked after me and given me all sorts of tips. Taku, of course, congratulations for winning this one, but the next time, I want your engine, okay? And you are my favourite Japanese driver in IndyCar.

Thank you all the drivers, I am so glad I have found some great people and new friends on this side of the Atlantic. You guys are super talented. I watched so many, many videos on YouTube before coming here and of course racing these two weeks together and I can say I learned so much from each one of you that has made me a better driver today, not only in oval racing, so thank you guys.

And then thanks to Gil de Ferran, obrigado my friend, my brilliant coach, Johnny Rutherford, to my girlfriend Linda, my physio Fabrizio and to my best friend Alberto, who have shared with me this exciting journey. Silvia, my press officer, that worked for me the last three years at McLaren, I mean, for her this was, the last three weeks or four weeks, very intense but she enjoyed so much, I think for a press officer this event is like Disneyland. I'm really happy she enjoyed.

It has been an amazing experience that I will take with me forever. I cannot wait to have my papaya orange car on display on my museum in Spain. Finally, I'd like to wish a speedy recovery to Sébastien Bourdais. We have missed you on the track, man, get well soon. Also, Scott, I have seen you with some things on your hands today. It was an incredible flight yesterday, and yea...

Thanks everyone, thanks Indianapolis, thanks IndyCar."

Alonso making his speech