Fernando Alonso to test drive in new McLaren ambassador role

Fernando Alonso to test drive in new McLaren ambassador role

His time of 1 minute, 17.709 seconds, which came on the faster tire compound, was three tenths of a second slower than Nico Hulkenberg's lap with Renault last week, the fastest so far this season. The rookie driver completed 80 laps and stopped twice on the track with mechanical problems.

Technical director James Allison added: "It was not exactly the day we hoped for, running for the first time with the bodywork kit that we expect to use in Melbourne, with a large part of the day lost to an oil pressure issue at lunchtime". "We've improved the vehicle slightly since last week, especially on the longer runs, so we're going in the right direction, which is positive". "Great to get some laps on the vehicle, just understand a bit of low fuel, high fuel, what the car's doing, and gives us an indication of what to do the rest of the week". Overall, I'm feeling more prepared.

"I'm stronger than ever now, at 37: physically, mentally, and the background that you have in different categories and different driving styles".

"Hopefully they will be able to drive and the vehicle will work well", he said ahead of the final Barcelona test. We just need to keep our head down and work.

"It all comes down to details and that is for me to try to be the best me I can". "These days are about building confidence and getting to grips with the new vehicle, but also getting used to this new environment". They're great people and everyone is working so hard.

"We are still trying to understand the auto, trying various set-ups", he said. We just have to watch the development.

Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi completed 99 laps in auto number 99 and rounded out the top five.

"It feels like a proper day one for us really", Russell said.

After a delayed and slow start to the first preseason test, things went much better for the Williams team on the first day of the second test session.

Williams, which started testing later than the other teams because a delay with its 2019 auto, managed to run 119 laps with rookie George Russell.

"I was great to get some laps on the vehicle, just understand a bit of low fuel, high fuel, what the car's doing, and gives us an indication of what to do the rest of the week", said the rookie driver. "But I'm glad I still got to do a few laps". We would like some more laps!

Alonso took part in some 95 Grands Prix races for McLaren over two spells, and also drove for the team at the 2017 Indianapolis 500.

"At the moment when we do testing I don't look at what anyone else is doing, I just look at my data and my understanding of what is happening with the auto and the tyres, and that is all we can do".

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