Fernando Alonso is preparing for the “most horrible” four laps of his career in qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.
The final day of practice is known as ‘Fast Friday’ because cars are put into qualifying trim, with reduced downforce and increased power from the engines.
Alonso said he has been told by coach Gil de Ferran to expect nerve-wracking laps as “the car is very on the limit”.
The Spanish McLaren Formula 1 driver was fourth quickest on Thursday with an average speed of 225.619mph.
The fastest time was set by Briton Jay Howard at 226.744mph.
“Gil de Ferran, my coach, my mentor, told me the four laps in qualifying will be the most horrible you’ve ever done because the car is very on the limit,” said two-time F1 world champion Alonso, 35.
“But I will have a first touch on Fast Friday and then we will see on Saturday.
“We work still a lot on the race situation, getting out there with guys and running in traffic.
“I still miss more laps, but we will try to make the most of it on Friday with the more power we have and try to learn from that.”
Alonso is making a one-off appearance at the Indy 500 on 28 May instead of racing at the Monaco Grand Prix, where he will be replaced by Britain’s Jenson Button, who is coming out of retirement for one race.
The Spaniard has set himself a target of winning the so-called ‘triple crown’ of Monaco, Indy and the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race. Only Briton Graham Hill has ever achieved the feat.