Fernando Alonso lost some track time during the morning session in Australia on Friday due to an exhaust issue, but the Spaniard was still able to complete both sessions inside the top ten.
The McLaren F1 Team racer set his first timed lap late in the morning session, but when he did get going, he ended up eighth fastest, a position he would then replicate in the afternoon session, with his best time of the day 1.269 seconds off the pace of Lewis Hamilton.
Alonso said it was great to finally get back to racing after the long off-season and the two ‘lonely’ pre-season tests in Spain, but with the weather set to be unsettled for the remainder of the weekend, the Spaniard is hoping McLaren can maximise any opportunity that presents itself to them.
“It’s good to be back in the racing spirit, and it’s a nice feeling to be with all the cars on track after the lonely winter tests where you are the only car per team on track and have empty grandstands,” said Alonso.
“Being the first day of the season, there were a lot of things we wanted to test. However, the weather conditions will be changeable from tomorrow, so we need to be careful with the information we have gathered.
“We lost a little bit of time in first practice with some issues but we managed to recover everything in the second session, and now we need to analyse everything to get the best package for tomorrow. The weather is going to affect everyone and we’re used to these changeable conditions here, so hopefully we can maximise every opportunity.”