Fernando Alonso sounds more than happy with his new Formula 1 team.
The Spaniard has switched from Alpine to Aston Martin for 2023, and he got off to an early start in Abu Dhabi with testing in an unbranded green car that was driven only last week by the now-retired Sebastian Vettel.
On the face of it, it appears to be a backwards step for the 41-year-old two-time champion. Renault-owned Alpine finished the season fourth overall, compared to Aston Martin’s seventh in the constructors’ championship.
Pierre Gasly got his first running in Alonso’s old car in Abu Dhabi this week, with the former Alpha Tauri driver calling the 2022 Alpine “impressive”.
Alonso, however, was also impressed with his new ride.
“I am happily surprised with everything,” he is quoted by AS newspaper.
“They had a good weekend here – Sebastian qualified ahead of me so I don’t think the Aston Martin was much different from the Alpine in the grand prix. And here I felt the same – a very competitive car.
“I am much more optimistic now. When I signed, I was 90 percent happy. When they started to improve and finished the season well, I was 100pc happy. Now, after the test, I am above 100pc.”