Despite taking place during the middle of a business day, Fernando Alonso’s Indianapolis 500 test was one of the most watched videos on YouTube on May 3. Though, he might not be as flattered by the attention as you’d think.
During Thursday’s FIA press conference for the Spanish Grand Prix, the moderator asked Alonso how he liked his first taste of racing on an oval, and he likely didn’t get the response he was expecting.
Before answering the question, the Spaniard asked one of his own: “Did you watch it?” When the person told him he streamed the five-hour test online, Alonso quickly threw some shade his way.
On IndyCar’s Facebook and YouTube pages, the live stream of Alonso’s Indy shakedown was viewed a combined 2.149 million times, and at times had more than 70,000 viewers watching concurrently, according to Motorsport.com. The 1.2 million views it racked up on YouTube helped it crack the site’s list of the top-10 trending videos on that day.
An audience of that size truly is unheard of for a test, largely because they’re rarely broadcast, but mostly because there’s no actual racing that takes place. It’s even more remarkable given Alonso’s No. 29 Honda was the only car running throughout the day.
The attention his oval debut drew was noticeable on social media too — so much so it caused Renault Sport F1 Team to get a bit envious — and certainly speaks to the gravity of the two-time world champion’s Indy 500 efforts.
Thumbnail photo via Honda