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."

shares
comments
Hamilton wants new Mercedes F1 contract agreed before Christmas

Previous article

Hamilton wants new Mercedes F1 contract agreed before Christmas

Next article

Mercedes: Power unit deficit in Abu Dhabi GP worth less than 0.1s per lap

Mercedes: Power unit deficit in Abu Dhabi GP worth less than 0.1s per lap
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Author Adam Cooper
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021