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Alonso admits recovery took longer than expected

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Alonso admits recovery took longer than expected
By:
Apr 28, 2016, 3:26 PM

Fernando Alonso admits recovering from his Australian Grand Prix accident took longer than he had anticipated.

Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31
Fernando Alonso, McLaren with the media
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31
Fernando Alonso, McLaren with Ron Dennis, McLaren Executive Chairman
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31
Fernando Alonso, McLaren with the media
Fernando Alonso, McLaren
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31

The McLaren driver was involved in a huge crash in the season-opening race and was then force to miss the Bahrain Grand Prix, where he was replaced by Stoffel Vandoorne.

He had to pass further medical tests to compete in China, where he was still in pain in the cockpit.

Alonso said ahead of the Russian Grand Prix that he was fully recovered now.

"I am perfectly okay. I have been working and training okay," said Alonso. "In the last two weeks probably after China another four or five days with some strange feeling, but for the last 10 day it was perfectly okay.

"It took a little bit longer than what I thought or what I anticipated, it was around 42/43 days from Melbourne to 100 percent, but it is probably normal."

Russia a good test for engine

Alonso, who is yet to score points this season, reckons the Russian Grand Prix will be a good test for McLaren to confirm the progress it has made with its Honda power unit.

"We are definitely more competitive race after race, but here is a good test for us: power effect is quite high here," he said. "I think it is the fourth-highest of the championship, so we will need to recover in the corners big time."

The Spaniard admitted his team still needs to find answers as to why its pace in the races is not as strong as it in qualifying.

"We all have a bit of extra performance for the qualifying lap and we are not able to use for the race distance," he added.

"It seems that we are a little bit less competitive in the first races compared to qualifying pace, so we need to look at that as well and try to improve race pace and be competitive in both days."

Night and day difference

Alonso insists, however, that the progress McLaren and Honda have made this year is remarkable and allows him to enjoy fighting with other cars on similar terms.

"Night and day. This year is a completely different picture and we are able to fight with other cars.

"China is not a good example because the different strategies and the different tyre combinations and tyre age that we ran there makes the overtaking very easy on both sides.

"For me when I was going out of the pitlane I overtook cars in every corner, without any problems and for them, when they were with newer tyres, so it was not easy to compare the speed on the straight of the fight possibility.

"But what we saw in China and Bahrain was very much more normal picture and I think this year we can enjoy a little bit more the battles."

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

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