First day of testing in Valencia
Circuit: Ricardo Tormo, Cheste -- 4.005 km
Driver: Fernando Alonso
Car: Ferrari F150
Weather: air temperature 8/18 C, track temperature 8/20 C. Cloudy in the early morning then sunny.
First day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, as from today working alongside ten other teams at the Cheste circuit, outside Valencia.
Fernando Alonso gave the F150 its official track debut, after it had been launched last Friday in Maranello. The Spanish driver worked mainly on general car development and on gaining further understanding of the Pirelli tyres. By the end of the day, which was completed without any significant technical problems, Fernando had done a total of 98 laps, the quickest in a time of 1.14.553.
The Scuderia continues testing at this circuit tomorrow, again with Fernando Alonso on track.
Alonso: "A good start for the F150"
To finish first, first you have to finish. It's a rule of sport, in particular motor sport where mechanical reliability is behind every result. So if a new car takes its first steps on the track without encountering problems it's already a good start. Certainly you need performance but before looking for that it's important to begin to understand the car's behaviour -- all the more so if the new creation is wearing new boots. This was the main objective of the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro technicians who today began development work on the F150: to go through lots of miles and to begin to understand the behaviour of the new Pirelli tyres.
There was satisfaction both for the engineers and the driver: "After so many weeks of waiting I had a great desire to return to the car," said Fernando Alonso at the end of the day. "It's always a great feeling to be the first to drive a new car and I'm honoured that this was my job. I'm satisfied with how this first day has gone, in particular regarding reliability. We haven't had any kind of problem -- just as we haven't had any in the factory before arriving here."
As for the tyres, it's clear that there is still a lot of work to do. "We don't have a huge amount of sets of tyres available and there is significant tyre wear," added the Spanish driver. "That probably also stems from the track conditions that were not at their best after the rain of recent days. But we are all in the same situation and we just have to work to adapt in the best way." Fernando continued: "It's impossible to have an idea of how the different teams line up after just a few hundred kilometres and I don't think that we will have a clear picture before the Bahrain Grand Prix. I remember that last year at the last test in Barcelona we were sixth fastest with Sauber and Force India ahead of us. At Sakhir we lapped them. I think that this question mark will remain right up to the first race."