At 6:30 pm Fernando Alonso’s first day as an official Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro came to an end. That was when the Spanish driver left the circuit at the end of an intense day with lots of work done and incredible sensations. Fernando’s debut in red was eagerly awaited by the media – there have never been so many journalists at a test session – and by the fans: at the end there were 36,000 spectators on the grandstand watching Fernando on the track. An incredible crowd, considering that today was a weekday. The Spanish fans were definitely satisfied by what they had seen when they left the track: their hero was the fastest man on the track in today’s session during the whole day with a lap time of 1.11.470. Fernando was also the driver with the most laps driven, overtaking Hulkenberg when the session came to an end: 127 laps for the Ferrarista and one less for the German driver from Williams.
Fernando Alonso in the garage
"I’ve been waiting for this moment for months and finally it’s here,” Fernando said at the end of the day. "We worked at lot at the works over the last weeks, but I was still missing the experience on the track. Today I concentrated mainly on getting to know the car. There were many new things for me here, such as the Schubert helmet and the Brembo brakes I had never used before. I must say that I felt at ease immediately thanks to Felipe’s work during the last days: the car went well and it was fast; it had a good set up, too, which is positive. It’s absolutely impossible to say where we stand compared to the others: I didn’t watch them closely, because I had too much work to do with my team. Anyway it’s far too early to say anything. There are so many unknown factors and it’s a bit like training for football teams, you never know if they’re playing with two goalies or only with their second team. It’s true, we drove many laps over the last three days. To be competitive you need a reliable car and we’re on the right track. The technicians have lots of data now to prepare us the best possible way for the next tests. It’s important that the data we had before we came here has been confirmed on the track. We need to continue like this and in the last tests, we need to try to find the car’s limit."
Fernando was impressed by the fans’ enthusiasm: “I knew that many fans had been expected here, but this was something else. We’re in the middle of the week and it’s incredible to see so many people on the grandstand. This was a very special day for me. Not only because I finally had my debut in red, but it’s also my father’s birthday, who was here with me. I enjoyed every single one of those 127 laps.”
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