Alonso Enjoys High Mileage with F150 in Valencia
“After so many weeks of waiting I had a great desire to return to the car,” said Alonso, who at one point led the 12-car field, only to finish 5th at the end of Day 1.
The Ferrari-an stopped the clock almost 8 tenths of a second late as compared to reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel (RB7), but insisted scoring the best time was not the aim for the day. In fact, running that many laps with no reliability issues was the main target, as Alonso believes he has achieved just that.
“The biggest priority for this test is to do mileage, to learn about the car, to have a lot of data for when we go back to Maranello. Today was a positive day, with no mechanical problems at all in the car so that was positive. We kept playing with the new rules, the KERS, etc, and to get used to the system.”
Late in the day however, only 3 minutes to the official end of Valencia's Day 1 of testing, Alonso's car stopped on the track, causing an early session finish. He was however able to get it started again and made the pits in time.
Talking about his first challenges inside the F150, Alonso admitted that the limited set of tires made available by Pirelli for Valencia prevent his team from running several setups.
“We don’t have a huge amount of sets of tires available and there is significant tire wear. (...) You have to keep a set of tires for the whole morning and then one for half of the afternoon and one for the end. It's difficult to do set-up changes and to really get an answer at the moment.”
Alonso also referred to the implementation of the adjustable rear wing for the 2011 season of F1, playing down fears that a potential failure of the system might affect the competition this season. In fact, according to Alonso, running the wing in high-downforce mode makes you “feel nothing.”
“You have to trust the thing. In the mirror you see the rear wing, but when you are braking you are not looking at the rear wing. If anything happens one day and the system is not working, just the pressure of the air will put the wing down,” he concluded.