Fernando Alonso uses 2016 parts to take P9
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – McLaren’s Fernando Alonso put in a performance that caught the eye on Friday, as he finished the day in P9. Alonso told reporters on Thursday that McLaren are running a lot of interim and 2016 parts on the MP4/30 this weekend, as they look to bolster their performance ahead of testing in February. The parts seemed to be working quite well, as Alonso finished the day less than a second behind pacesetter Nico Rosberg, claiming P9.
“Many things could be behind this afternoon’s performance: first, I think we’ve made some improvements to the car – the team has kept pushing hard to bring performance. But, second, we probably ran the Supersoft tyre at the optimal point of the session, a little bit later than the others.” explained Alonso, who downplayed the seemingly large improvement in pace.
Alonso’s car was fitted with a test rear suspension, as well as the first iteration of the 2016 steering wheel the team have designed. While the Spanish double World Champion was happy with the feel of the car, he doesn’t believe he’ll be able to maintain top ten pace:
“I’m happy with the car, and our progress, but, unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be ninth-fastest tomorrow.
“I tried the Supersoft on my long run – as we expected, there’s a bit of graining on that particular tyre, so the race will be tough, but it’ll be the same for everybody.”
Honda’s Yasuhisa Arai explained that not everything ran like clockwork for Alonso on Friday, as he did have a minor failure at the end of FP1: “Fernando’s car had a high-voltage sensor go into fail mode at the very end of FP1, but a quick parts replacement was all that was necessary to prepare for FP2. He had a very good feel for the car during the evening session, and seemed satisfied with the overall set-up of the car and the power unit.”
Será que poderemos ter esperanças para 2016??????? (por favor, digam que sim!!!!) hehehe