A delighted Fernando Alonso admits he is still not feeling 100 percent after returning to the cockpit of his McLaren in practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Spanish driver took to the track for the first time since his accident during testing at Barcelona over a month ago, managing a total of 45 laps during the day.
Alonso said today's running had been a big step forward compared to the last time he drove the car.
"It felt great today in the car. After the gym, after the simulator, whatever you do it is not the same as the car, so I enjoyed so much driving here," said Alonso, 14th and 16th quickest today.
"The conditions are obviously extreme and very hot, so physically it is very demanding and I am not 100 percent physically and fit after two weeks on the sofa and then two weeks not in the car.
"It was really the second day of testing for me because I have one good day in Barcelona with 63 laps and then today with 45 laps. The rest of the days were.
"A step forward, a big step forward for us."
The McLaren driver said his Honda-powered was vastly improved since the last time he drove it.
"Much better. The experience that we had in winter it was a lot of problems after four or five laps, but today we ran 45 laps with zero problems, everything went as we predict.
"We will see in qualifying, but I think we were 4.6secs behind pole position in Australia, here maybe we could be 3.5secs, so that is a 1sec or 1.5secs gain in two weeks, so a big step forward."