'Easy to drive' McLaren excites Alonso

By on Friday, March 27, 2015
Pirelli Media

Pirelli Media

Fernando Alonso cut an upbeat figure as he returned to action for the first time since he sustained a concussion during a testing crash in Spain.

Alonso completed 45 laps during practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix and posted the 16th quickest time of the 20 runners.

"It feels great to be back in the car – I enjoyed driving so much today," he said. "Maybe I’m not quite 100 per cent fit after two weeks on the sofa and two weeks out of the car, but I’m fit enough to enjoy it out there.

"Today really feels like the second day of testing for me – I had one solid day’s running in Barcelona during the winter, when I did 63 laps, and I managed 45 today. Plus, we ran with zero problems – so that’s an important step, too.

"We are improving the aero package, gaining a greater understanding of the power unit, and we also have better interaction between everyone working on the car. Every lap is a learning curve for us.

"The car feels consistent and easy to drive, and it’s giving me the confidence to push it to the limit. We had some issues with braking consistency today, but we should be able to resolve those overnight. I feel great – I enjoyed today so much."

McLaren team-mate Jenson Button finished just over a tenth of a second behind Alonso.

"A lot of people made mistakes – there’s very low grip out there – so the feeling inside the car isn’t as good as it was in Melbourne, but our overall pace over a single lap and over a long run is a little closer to the cars ahead of us. That’s a step forward," he explained.

"We learned a lot today about the engine; we have a bit more power, although we’re still learning about driveability in some areas."

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