Fernando Alonso completed 178 laps before his Honda engine gave out
Having abandoned McLaren-Honda for the Monaco Grand Prix because of their engine unreliablity and lack of power, Alonso had qualified fifth for the famous race.
The two-time F1 champion struggled with the unfamiliar rolling start to the race and dropped to 12th but then demonstrated his terrific racing pedigree, repeatedly producing overtakes rarely seen from an Indy 500 rookie.
With no more pit-stops scheduled, Alonso was pushing hard to move up from seventh with 21 laps left when his Honda engine gave up the ghost, the third one of the race to do so.
However, the Spaniard admitted that victory was unlikely and seemed to suggest he would certainly be back again.
Scott Dixon's horror crash with Jay Howard in the 101st Indy 500 Sun, May 28, 2017
Scott Dixon and Jay Howard were involved in a huge crash during the 101st Indianapolis 500
Play slideshow ESPN•BT SPORT 1 of 7
Scott Dixon collides with Jay Howard in a spectacular crash at the Indy 500
"It's a shame because we deserved to finish this face and experience that but who knows which position we could have been,"
"The whole day has been a very nice experience.
"From the presentation to the racing. The racing was fun, it was nice and the performance was good.
"We were leading the race for a couple of race and we were leading when the red flag happened.
"It was a nice surprise to come here and be able to be competitive.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
"If I come back, I will come back to something that I know how it will feel.
Fernando Alonso pulled off some stunning overtakes at the Indy 500
"It will be easier the second time than what it has been this one."
Alonso had played down his chances of winning the race from the outset.
"I think [the win] is not the main purpose of this adventure now," Alonso had said before the race.
"I want to experience it and I want to live that moment but winning, I know that realistically I have lower chance than some of my opponents.
"There is a small percentage for all of us.
"When I close the visor and there is a green light, I will go for the win and even if there is a one per cent chance, hopefully I can be close to it.
"It's definitely going to be fun."