- Jerez Test, Day Three
The driving style is not that different - Alonso
Fernando Alonso does not think the new generation of turbo Formula One cars will require a significant change in driving style this season.
Alonso got his first taste of the new Ferrari F14 T this week in Jerez, completing 58 laps in total with the fifth fastest time. Despite several drivers commenting on the increased torque from this year's V6 turbos and lack of downforce under the new regulations, Alonso agreed with team-mate Kimi Raikkkonen that the approach to driving the cars would not change significantly.
"No big difference, to be honest," he said. "I jumped in the car and did not feel a big difference in driving style or big difference in how the things work this year. I think there is a lot of talk about these changes and regulations etcetera, but the driving style itself is not that big a difference compared to what we were doing last year. There are more parameters to control than last year, but I think we will get used to them very quickly and we have to manage the battery, and it was the same last year. This year is bigger because it is a multi-function thing, last year it was only for the KERS. In terms of driving input, I don't think these 2014 cars will be a big difference."
Despite the cars being slower than previous tests at Jerez so far, Alonso said there was still enjoyment to be derived from driving them.
"The cars are slower, nothing more than that," he said. "I drove [a lap time] here in 1:16 in 2005 or 2004 and I ran today in a 1:26, so I was 10 seconds slower than 10 years ago. When you go ten seconds slower, it's not the same.
"From a physical point of view as well these cars a lot easier than what Formula One has been. There are less G-forces, less speed into the corners. But on the other hand there are more parameters to control, more buttons on the steering wheel, there is more criticality in terms of driving and having control of the car in high-speed corners and also the traction phase. It's just different.
"If I feel less or more emotion driving the car, it's just the same. If I driver go-karts I'm 20 seconds or half a minute slower than Formula One and I sweat so much and enjoy so much and have the same emotions. As long as you drive at the limit, it doesn't matter how quick or slow the timed lap, it doesn't change the emotional point of view or the nice feeling driving. This car is still fun to drive and we will discover new things soon."
Alonso has finished runner-up to Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in three of the last four seasons, but so far this week the world champion's team had struggled to get its car on track. But Alonso has no doubts they will be back up to speed by the opening race in Australia.
"Obviously it's not our main focus at the moment, what the others are doing. We have a lot of other things going on inside our garage so we are not looking too much outside. Yes, they have had little running so far but it is plenty of time until Australia and they will put things in place quickly, I am sure. We must concentrate on our things and we will see what happens in Australia."