Fernando Alonso had his first taste of his new Formula 1 machinery on Saturday, completing 128 laps of the Bahrain International Circuit. Having missed out on the chance to take part in the team’s filming day at Silverstone following his cycling accident and jaw surgeries, Fernando Alonso got his first chance to drive his new Formula 1 car on Saturday as he stepped into the A521 in Bahrain.
Alonso began his return to a contemporary Formula 1 car with an aero rake fitted to the A521, as he settled back into driving at the same circuit he completed a test with the 2018 car back in November. Running the C2 & C3 compounds, Alonso racked up 60 laps during the morning session.
Resuming after lunch, Alonso continued using the harder compounds and focused on long runs throughout. His best time of the day was a 1:32.339 on a set of C2 tyres – enough for P10 on the leaderboard.
“We completed a lot of laps today and followed the programme that was planned so that is good, but we need to sit down now and analyse everything.” said Alonso after the day. “The car did feel good today, but I think we still need to understand the characteristics of the new aero package a bit better. We ran with the harder compounds today and we have more running to do tomorrow, so between myself and Esteban we will aim to collect even more data and fine tune the overall package.”
Teammate Esteban Ocon will drive the morning session on Sunday, before Alonso steps in for the afternoon to conclude pre-season testing.