Maranello, 6 March –With a week to go until free practice gets underway in Albert Park, Alonso is training hard to be as well prepared as possible when the Ferrari F14 T makes its race weekend debut. Fernando has tackled an all-encompassing training regime including running, cycling, karting and even football, which is a particular passion of the Maranello driver. One of these sessions was filmed by Prancing Horse sponsor Santander, and a clip can be seen in the attached video.
However, his mental focus is already on the Melbourne track and all the unknown factors that involves. “We come to the start of this championship with the team having had twelve days of testing, while as a driver I’ve had six. A few more days would have been useful given how much has changed for this season. With every lap of testing we learned something and improved pretty much constantly. I think that will still be the case in Australia, especially on the first day and then actually in the first few races.”
There are the usual unknowns because the cars are still new, but there are also those linked to the rule changes. “The new Formula 1 rules are very different to what we were used to. I think the concept of what constitutes a Grand Prix will actually change this year, with Saturday and Sunday being very different from one another. In qualifying, one will be able to get everything out of the car, pushing the new power unit to the limit, trying to get the absolutely best result. But in the race you won’t get anywhere near that level. Last year, towards the end of the races, on new tyres, you could do very quick lap times, whereas in the closing stages this year, you will have to bear in mind how much fuel you have left, the state of the batteries and that of the tyres. You will need to be very clever to manage these parameters and the new race strategies could see drivers being unable to go flat out to the end.”
Alonso also had a thought for those watching the races at home. “As drivers, we will get used to it quickly and so I hope these rules aren’t immediately overturned and that they stay unchanged for a few years. Otherwise the spectators could lose confident in this new Formula 1 which is very complex, even for the viewer.”