1. Fernando and the entire MacLaren team might've missed the show, but over the last couple of years have put a new face on F1 drivers. It's not a stretch to say that some F1 teams and drivers in the past were viewed as prima donna rude arrogant horse's…. uh, yeah. IMS and IndyCar staffs, as well as members of the media and fans were completely taken in by Alonso's poise, sincerity and friendliness, even in the face of a frustrating effort.
2. Should IndyCar ever do a one-day qualifying format, yesterday would be a good reference point. 73 attempts meant that the long "Dead periods" in the heat off the day were gone, with cars on the track (and usually more in line) for the entire day. The day also provided 2 "bubbles" — one for avoiding the Last Row shootout, and one for being in the Top 9 shootout.
3. I haven't had a chance to talk with the faster teams, but if they all are flat-out for 4 laps of qualifying then IndyCar needs to revisit their aero / tire formula. IndyCar needs to be a balance of car and driver, which would indicate to me that braking might be a good skill to require.
4. Mario and I might not agree on this one — and we've talked about it. In the old days, drivers regularly went between diverse forms of auto racing (with some even doing motorcycles, boats, etc). And indeed, to quote Mario, "The better drivers get it" meaning that they can adapt fast. But we've also seen our share of F1 drivers over the last 80 years — who are labeled as "best in the world" — come to Indy and struggle. They might be mighty fine F1 drivers, but I'd say that the might have to adapt to IndyCar… or NASCAR… and I still have a fond hope that someone will run on dirt in a sprint car at Eldora.