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2015-02-02 13:27

WHAT'S GONE WRONG? Has Fernando Alonso made a mistake joining McLaren? The team's new driver had a tough day in the new car on his first day out in Jerez, Spain. Image: AP / Miguel Morenatti

JEREZ, Spain - Fernando Alonso wore a brave face on Sunday (Feb 1 2015) as he admitted his first day of driving the McLaren MP4-30 "was a slow start" to his new chapter with the team.

The Spaniard, having switched from Ferrari to spearhead the new works Honda era, did only six - uncompetitive - laps all day in his new 2015 office while Mercedes looked set to dominate yet again.

Alonso said: "Mercedes has the continuation of a dominant car, so it's a little bit easier than for us who have a new power unit but we have a very streamlined car design and I don't think Mercedes will win so many races this year.

"The team is favourite, yes, but I think all the other teams are closer than 2014."


Although McLaren is struggling Alonso said he is settling in for the long haul, and not predicting any of the problems that so badly marred his first tenure with the team in 2007.

"I've changed," he was quoted as saying by Germany's Auto Motor and Sport. "I was only 25.  Now is the perfect time to get back together. With Eric (Boullier), the team is more open and international, the design has changed completely with Peter (Prodromou), and Honda is back after 22 years.

"The whole team believes in this project and it's a fantastic feeling."

The 33-year-old also could not resist throwing a couple of barbs at Ferrari, where his replacement Sebastian Vettel managed to top Sunday's times in the new red SF15-T.

"Last year we were also among the fastest on Fridays," Alonso was quoted as saying by Brazil's Globo, "and then on Saturday and Sunday we fell back."

And he also alluded to Ferrari when asked if he is prepared to sit and wait for McLaren-Honda to get up to speed.

"I think the past five years has shown I can be patient," Alonso answered.

Read more on:    mclaren  |  testing  |  fernando alonso  |  jerez  |  spain  |  motorsport  |  formula 1

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