Spaniard Fernando Alonso made a return to Formula 1 with the McLaren F1 Team this week to take part in the first day of in-season testing held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on behalf of tyre manufacturer Pirelli, evaluating 2020 tyres.
Alonso ran a total of 64 laps in the Pirelli test car, setting a 1:32.207 fastest lap.
“Today was a positive day in the car.” said Alonso. ” It’s always fun to drive a Formula 1 car as they are the fastest cars in the world, so as a driver it’s nice to feel the speed and the adrenaline. Even with the rain in the middle of the day it was a good day.”
The Spaniard explained how he had seen a big improvement in the car’s performance since he last drove for McLaren in 2018, and feels they are now progressing to the front of the order.
“The car is a step forward in every aspect from last year. The car has more grip, it’s less draggy on the straights, the engine is a step better, so overall as a package the car is going in the right direction and we’re closer to the front.”
He added that in the first two races of the season showed that they still had work to do if they wanted to compete with the top teams, but thinks that they are not currently in a bad position.
“We saw in the first two races that there is still another step to make if you want to compete with the top three teams, but as a first step I think it’s a good baseline and there’s a good programme of development.”
Alonso said he was pleased with the team’s performance so far this season, and has no regrets about leaving the sport.
“It was good to see a positive weekend for us in Bahrain last weekend and hopefully this continues for the rest of the season.
“I have no regrets about my decision to stop racing in Formula 1 and I’m very happy for the team.”