Alonso: F1 Abu Dhabi young driver test ignited "competitive spirit"

Fernando Alonso says his run in the Formula 1 young driver test in Abu Dhabi has ignited his "competitive spirit" ahead of his return with Alpine in 2021

Alonso: F1 Abu Dhabi young driver test ignited "competitive spirit"

Alonso topped the times in what was his first proper outing in this year's Renault R.S.20, following a brief 100km filming day run in Barcelona on demo tyres.

The former world champion has also been conducting a programme with a 2018 car, also on demo tyres, which included a session in Abu Dhabi a few weeks ago.

That run meant he was fully up to speed on the Yas Marina track from the start of the day, which saw all drivers running Pirelli's C4 and C5 compounds.

He completed a total of 105 laps, setting a best time was a 1m36.333s. As a comparison to last weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Esteban Ocon set the Enstone team's best qualifying time with a 1m36.359s in Q2, which earned the French driver 11th place on the grid.

Alonso's test programme was run by Renault's race team and thus involved the mechanics and engineers with whom he will work with next year, whereas the 2018 car testing involved a different crew.

"It was good and very nice to be back in the car especially with the race team," he said. "I've been testing the 2018 car in preparation, but this one felt a bit more serious, and it ignited a little bit the competitive spirit.

"It was great to feel the modern cars and experience what they can do. I was watching the team's progress at the weekend closely, and it was nice to experience what I learnt from the outside and then inside the cockpit today."

Alonso told Autosport last weekend that the test would have limited value because the cars will change for 2021, with a downforce cut and revised Pirelli tyres, but the Spanish driver confirmed he was able to use the test as good preparation for next year.

"We signed off lots of basic things we did in preparation at the factory like seat fitting, pedal position and so on, which is beneficial with only one-and-a-half-days of winter testing next year," he said.

"We ticked boxes today and we go into Christmas and New Year with good spirit and everyone motivated in the team."

Renault young driver Guanyu Zhou also took part in the test, setting the ninth best time of the day with a 1m37.912s.

shares
comments
Masi explains decision to delay Sainz investigation in Abu Dhabi GP
Previous article

Masi explains decision to delay Sainz investigation in Abu Dhabi GP

Next article

Why the biggest disappointment of the Abu Dhabi GP wasn't its lack of action

Why the biggest disappointment of the Abu Dhabi GP wasn't its lack of action
The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost Plus

The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost

Formula 1 has a newest race winner, in a grand prix the victor appeared to have lost twice, only to charge back to headline a sensational and dramatic British Grand Prix. From a massive start crash to a late sprint finish, here’s how five factors saw Carlos Sainz take his maiden grand prix win

Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga Plus

Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga

The appearance of a revised Aston Martin in Spain caused controversy but PAT SYMONDS explains why the FIA investigation found the Silverstone team had no case to answer

Formula 1
Jul 3, 2022
Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Plus

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 2, 2022
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Formula 1
Jul 1, 2022
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022