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Fernando Alonso

Alonso feels '100 percent plus' after first test with Aston Martin

The Spaniard was upbeat after his first drive in the AMR22 during the Abu Dhabi post-season Formula 1 test.

Alonso Abu Dhabi Test
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Fernando Alonso was buoyed by his first drive with the Aston Martin team at the Abu Dhabi post-season Formula 1 test.

After completing 97 laps in the AMR22, the two-time World Champion said that he feels "100 percent plus" compared to when he signed for the team back in the summertime.

"I'm much more optimistic now than when I signed for Aston Martin," said Alonso to media, including RacingNews365.com.

"I was 90 percent happy, [then] when they start improving and they finished the season on a high I was 100 percent. This morning, I was 100 percent plus.

"The feeling that I have today in the garage with the guys and the potential of the team, the talent that I see in the engineering room here is outstanding. So, I am really, really happy."

After numerous reliability failures throughout the season at Alpine, Alonso noted that he was concerned about the engine milage on the AMR22 prior to the test.

"When they told me the mileage of the engine yesterday night, I was concerned because I said that number is so high on my standards! But we did 97 laps [with] no problem."

Green car reminded Alonso of Jaguar testing days

The AMR had nearly all of its branding taken off due to Alonso still being on loan from Alpine, which caused a few sponsorship conflicts.

Aston Martin Team Ambassador Pedro de la Rosa was also present at the test, with Alonso saying that seeing the all-green car for the first time was reminiscent of when the pair once tested with Jaguar in 2002.

"We entered the garage this morning together and we saw the green car," he recalled. "We both said this is exactly as Jaguar in 2002, but this is completely a different project for sure."

While it was an opportunity to bed himself into a new team, Alonso added that he did not prioritise learning the AMR22, due to next season's car 'not being a continuation' of this season's car.

He explained: "We have to sit down, I have to go through now in my mind everything that I felt.

"There are small things and most of them are comfort, it's not really the balance itself or the behaviour of the car.

"I was happily surprised with everything, but this year's car is not anywhere near what we will run next year.

"There was not really anything to get confident [with] or anything like that. It's not like there's going to be a continuation of this car [for next year]."

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Editorial Director Dieter Rencken joined the Alfa Romeo driver for a hot lap of the track, which has hosted Formula 1 since back in 2009.

Along the way, Bottas reveals the secrets of the venue.

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