Fernando Alonso is slowly but surely entering the 'zone', as he fine tunes his running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and closes in on qualifying and its unique thrills, or spills.
The McLaren Honda Andretti driver continued to hone his skills and experience on Thursday, ending the day fourth fastest with a best lap at 225.619mph, compared to pacesetter Jay Howard's 226.744mph.
"The car felt quite OK from the very beginning in the morning, but we did improve it during the day, so I’m quite happy," said Alonso.
"We work still a lot on the race situation, getting out there with guys and running in traffic. I think tomorrow we will concentrate on alone and qualifying, but the priority is the race."
Qualifying will indeed be of relative importance to Alonso but Spaniard is still determined to do his best in an exercise which his mentor Gil de Ferran said will prove very special.
"Gil de Ferran, my coach, told me that the four laps in qualifying will be the most horrible laps you’ve ever done because the car is very on the limit!" said Alonso.
"But I will have a first touch tomorrow on Fast Friday and then we will see on Saturday.We are still concentrating on the race situation."
After this weekend's qualifying, drivers will get another day of practice on Monday and an hour of track time on Indy's traditional 'Carb Day' set for the Friday before the race weekend.
Alonso has accumulated a wealth of experience since the week got underway, but there's always more to learn.
"When you meet guys out there, you always learn from what they are doing, what different techniques they are doing," he said.
"Every day is interesting and different by itself. Unfortunately, the free practice is ending. I still miss more laps, but we will try to make the most of it tomorrow with more power and try to learn from that.
"We will start from zero tomorrow."