Fernando Alonso drove Ferrari’s new Formula 1 car for the first time in Barcelona on Tuesday and declared that it was on another planet compared to the tricky F2012 which he wrestled into title contention last season.
The Spaniard, ending a longer than most absence from the cockpit, clocked the third fastest time in testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The 31-year-old, runner-up to Red Bull’s triple champion Sebastian Vettel last year, had skipped the first pre-season test in Jerez to focus on his physical preparations for the season starting in Australia on March 17.
With the team declaring his training workouts in the gym and on the road to have been “worthy of the best Olympic athlete”, Alonso completed a total of 110 laps in the F138 with a best time of 1: 22.952 seconds.
“I feel reasonably pleased with this first day and I can say I share Felipe’s opinion that the car is on another planet compared to the one we began with on the first day of testing last year. The programme for this first session in Barcelona is aimed mainly at improving reliability, with the target of completing more than a hundred laps every day,” said the double world champion in a team release at the end of the session.
Alonso said the target was to work on reliability of the F138, aiming to complete more than 100 laps each day, before focusing on performance in the final test,” Then, at next week’s test we can concentrate on performance. Tomorrow (Wednesday), we will complete what we were unable to do today and we will focus on car set-up, to adapt it as well as possible to the tyres.”
“I knew from looking at the Jerez data what sort of car I would find here today, as in fact we know more or less what we will see at the first race in Australia, in terms of what new parts we will have and how many tenths they will produce. This is down to all the work done over the winter in the wind tunnel and the numerous tests which confirm that the parts that are on their way will give the expected results.” added the Ferrari driver. (Reuters)