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DATE News (chronologically)
02/19/13
f1
Alonso happy with new car, not new tires  
Fernando Alonso stoops in front of his new Ferrari
Fernando Alonso  described his feeling with Ferrari's new car as "OK" after completing his first day driving the F138.

Felipe Massa drove on the opening three days of the first test in Jerez before Pedro de la Rosa took over on the final day as Alonso opted to skip the test in return for more track time in Barcelona. Having finished the day third quickest at the Circuit de Catalunya, Alonso was eager not to make any early judgments of the car.

"The feeling with the car was OK, as expected more or less," Alonso said." It's a similar continuation of the Brazil car, let's say, so it's more or less the same feeling. I have the same seat, I have the same pedals, I have the same everything so when you jump in the car more or less the performance should be the same as Brazil.

"It's nothing really surprising you when driving, so this is at least something good, not like last year when we drove for the first time we were a little bit surprised on the bad side. We have a lot of work to do; a lot of work to do in the next days for the tires, for the aerodynamics, for some new components and experimental things that we have in the car. We need to keep doing a lot of mileage; in Jerez we had some mechanical problems - especially with Pedro we lost one morning - so we need to put some good laps in this test to prove the car is strong enough to race."

Having missed the first test in Jerez to focus on his training, Alonso admitted he was still feeling the effects of completing 110 laps on the opening day.

"The neck is now a little bit stiff but it's normal on the first day; whatever neck training you do the car is a killer on that. It depends how many laps you do but if on the first day you do 100 laps in Barcelona this feeling is a little bit normal."

One area Alonso was not happy, however, was with the Pirelli tires, saying the rapidly degrading rubber made it difficult to evaluate a new car in the cold conditions.

"Obviously we concentrate on our job - we don't know what the others are doing - but it's maybe not the best option to test in the winter when you have a tire that will do one lap because we have so much stuff to test and so many new things that we have to have clear and good information on those parts. You only have one lap to understand what you put on the car because then you are two, four, six seconds of the pace. But it's the same for everybody so we need to understand these new tires better than the others if we can and try to make them last as much as possible." ESPN F1

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