Alonso downplays value of controversial F1 young driver test outing

Fernando Alonso has downplayed the value of his controversial test with the Renault Formula 1 team in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday as he prepares for his return in 2021

Alonso downplays value of controversial F1 young driver test outing

The FIA gave drivers who did not race in 2020 permission to take part in a session that was originally intended for rookies.

Alonso will be joined at the test by fellow veterans Sebastien Buemi at Red Bull, and Robert Kubica at Alfa Romeo.

The decision to allow the double world champion to gain more mileage with the Renault R.S.20 angered other teams, especially McLaren and Racing Point, who planned long to skip the test as they had no young drivers to run.

Alonso has already completed 100km of running during a filming day at Barcelona with the current Renault on demo tyres, as well as logging extensive mileage with a 2018 Renault, including a recent outing in Abu Dhabi.

"Honestly, it's not very important," he said when asked by Autosport about this week's run.

"I know that there was a lot of media attention to this. I mean, every kilometre is important, and it will be welcome.

"But I feel more or less ready after the 2018 days. This one will be nice, because it's the race engineers and mechanics, so I get to know them a little bit more, because the 2018 testing was with a young team.

"So on that aspect it's gonna be nice to get some interaction with the people you will work with in the future.

"But in terms of feeling or driving or something, it's okay, but it's not a day or night change for my preparation."

Alonso conceded he would provide some useful feedback, given that much of the 2020 car will carry over, but insisted that rule changes mean its value will be limited.

"You will give your feedback, but honestly, I don't know what they can do into next year with this car, because they are losing a lot of downforce from the cars, and with the different tyres," he added.

"So, how much will affect anything you say going into next year, I don't think it's gonna be any.

"So it's more for me to feel comfortable with the guys, as I said, the seat position, whatever. It should be enough, but not too much."

Alonso said his demo runs in his 2005 Renault R25 last weekend didn't help him, even with relearning the track, as he had run in Abu Dhabi recently: "I've been testing here with a 2018 car, and that was very useful.

"But with the 2005 car, I think it's totally different. I couldn't take anything."

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