Fernando Alonso: “The car feels good on this circuit”


Fernando Alonso finished inside the top five in both Friday practice sessions in Malaysia - Credit: Steven Tee/McLaren

Fernando Alonso admitted it was a positive day at the Sepang International Circuit after finishing inside the top five in both free practice sessions on Friday.

The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver finished third fastest behind the two Red Bull Racing drivers in the wet opening practice session before he outpaced both of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers in the afternoon, finishing fifth fastest.

Alonso admits that there is a decision to be made overnight to how to continue the weekend after different set-up configurations on the MCL32 appeared to work, and although some time was lost due to the red flag late in second practice, he believes there is still time to find the optimum set-up ahead of qualifying and the race.

“We had a good day today. In the first session, we checked a few things on the car,” said Alonso. “We went out when the track was a bit less wet and managed to put it in third position… which was nice.

“In the second session, on a dry track, the car continued to behave well, and we had no big things we need to change for tomorrow.

“We tried several different configurations, and they proved all positive, so we need to go through the data tonight to decide what to do. The car feels good on this circuit, with a lot of grip when using the Supersoft tyre.

“We missed some running due to the red flag at the end of the second session, but that happened to most of the teams. We’ll try to catch up with that work tomorrow in FP3, if it doesn’t rain.”