Fernando Alonso sent a warning to his rivals by setting the fastest time in the Formula 1 test on Tuesday after the season in Abu Dhabi.
The two-time world champion will be back on the grid next season with the renamed Alpine team (now Renault) after an absence of two years.
His participation in Tuesday’s test was controversial because the session was originally intended for young drivers with less than two races of F1 experience.
Alonso, who is 39 years old and has participated in 311 Grand Prix events in his career, received a special prize from the FIA for participating in his first full day of testing in the 2020 car.
On the day of the shooting in October he briefly drove the Renault R.S.20 this year, but was limited to 100 km, while the rest of the preparation for his return was done in the car of 2018, a special car that meets the strict requirements of Formula 1 testing.
On Tuesday he led 105 laps, 583 km or almost two race distances and set the fastest time in 1:36.333 on Pirelli’s softest rubber tyres.
The comparison with Saturday’s qualifications is not ideal because of the different job conditions, but for comparison: Max Verstappen set a pole position time of 1:35.246 and Alonso’s teammate for next year, Esteban Ocon, set a time of 1:36.359 in the same car.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Fernando Alonso sets the fastest time on his return to the official F1 tests. Rudy Karesevoli – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images.
Renault has confirmed that Alonso has been running low fuel qualifying races and has also carried out a race simulation to bring itself up to speed with the latest Formula 1 machine.
It was good and very nice to get back in the car, especially with the racing team, Alonso said. I tested the 2018 car in preparation, but it seemed a little more serious and created a certain competitive spirit.
It was great to get familiar with modern cars and find out what they can do. I followed the progress of the team over the weekend and it was nice to experience what I learned today from the outside and then in the cockpit.
We have many of the basic things we did in the factory in preparation, such as the installation of the seats, the position of the pedals, etc., which can only be beneficial with a day and a half of winter testing next year.
Today we ticked the boxes, with good vibrations for Christmas and New Year, and everyone is motivated as a team.
The teams were allowed to drive two cars in the test, with the Mercedes world champions taking second and third place.
Formula E Mercedes drivers Nick de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne won the W11-race 13 times with lap times of 1:36.595 and 1:36.840 respectively.
Alfa Romeo reserve rider Robert Kubica, who also failed to meet the initial requirements of the event, finished fourth, despite being one second behind Alonso’s best time.
Next year’s riders have also been spotted: Yuki Tsunoda, who is expected to be replaced by Daniel Kwiat in Alpha Tauri, set the fourth fastest time and Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time world champion Michael, finished 15th at Haas with 125 laps to go.
McLaren and Racing Point refused to participate in the test, and Haas chose to drive one car instead of two.
Most of the races were for reserve and youth drivers, with regular drivers being excluded by the FIA for 2020.
Time and number of revolutions
1. Alonso, Renault, 1:36.333, 105 laps2. De Vries, Mercedes, 1:36.595, 110 laps
3. Vandoorne, Mercedes, 1:36.840, 82 laps
4. Kubica, Alfa Romeo, 1:37.446, 89 laps5. Tsunoda, Alpha Tauri, 1:37,557, 123 laps
6. Crying, Red Bull, 1:37,770, 101 Round
7. Fuoco, Ferrari, 1:37.817, 126 laps
8. Ilott, Alfa Romeo, 1:37.826, 93 rpm9. Zhou, Renault, 1:37.902, 98 laps
10. Aitken, Williams, 1:38.153, 78 rounds
11. Schwartzman, Ferrari, 1:38.157, 129 laps
12. Buemi, Red Bull, 77 rounds 13. Sato, Alpha Tauri, 1:38.495, 127 laps
14. Nisani, Williams, 1:39,800, 75 laps
15. Schumacher, Haas, 1:39.947, 125 laps.
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