After a two month break Fernando Alonso relished being back on track in a real Formula 1 car, in front of enthusiastic fans as opposed to sitting in the virtual world of a simulator.
Speaking on the third day of testing at Jerez, his first day in the cockpit of the new Ferrari F14T, Alonso said, “It’s always exciting driving a Formula 1 car again. It doesn’t matter how fast you go, as long as you’re on the limit.”
“Ten years ago here in Jerez, maybe we were going ten seconds quicker than today, but the enjoyment is the same. In fact, if I went out on track now in my Alfa Romeo Giulietta, I’d have as much fun, just as I did when I was a kid and as I do now, if I get into a kart, which is much slower than the speeds you reach in a Formula 1 car.”
“It’s not enough driving on the simulator to get some feelings, you need to be out on track in a real car in front of the fans who have come just to support you: that’s real excitement,” mused Spain’s double World Champion.
Speaking about the all new Formula 1 V6 turbo rules and the changes to this year’s cars, Alonso reckoned, “There’s not much difference. A lot has been said about this, but the fact is that when it comes to what a driver has to do, not much has changed. Of course, now there are many more parameters to manage, for example the battery has to be charged, but we are used to that.”
Testing on track is at a premium, thus the importance of every lap completed at Jerez, and next month in Bahrain, is vital.
Alonso explained, “Every lap we do is important, with every lap you learn something and discover problems and opportunities. The aim is to do a lot here, and especially in the next two tests in Bahrain.”
As for the Maranello’s latest offering with which he and new teammate Kimi Raikkonen are expected to bring glory back to the Italian outfit, Alonso said, “The F14T seems to have a good potential, but there’s a lot to do.”
“The others? We have so much to do in our pit that there’s absolutely no time to think about what they are doing. From here to Melbourne, we must just concentrate on ourselves,” declared Alonso who will be in action for the reds on the final day [Friday] at Jerez. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.