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Fernando Alonso optimistic for 2018 after signing off with minor crash in Abu Dhabi

Fernando Alonso had a prang in the morning session when testing Pirelli tyres at Yas Marina Circuit on Tuesday, but returned to the track to complete 115 laps.

other sports Updated: Nov 28, 2017 23:27 IST
Omnisport, Abu Dhabi
Fernando Alonso,Formula One,F1
Fernando Alonso will race for McLaren in the 2018 season for Formula One.(Reuters)

Fernando Alonso signed off for the Formula One season by having a “small kiss with the wall” in testing in Abu Dhabibefore speaking of his optimism of a more positive 2018 for McLaren.

The Spanish driver had a prang in the morning session when testing Pirelli tyres atYas Marina Circuit on Tuesday, butreturnedto the track to complete 115 laps.

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Alonso reflected on a productive last day behind the wheel and is hopeful that McLaren can made strides after agreeing a deal to switchfrom Honda to Renault engines.

The two-time Formula One champion said: “Today’s been a very positive day. It’s been very useful for us to have a read on the 2018 tyres. They felt good, I felt the performance was there and the degradation was under control, so generally I had a good feeling.

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“I had a small kiss with the wall this morning and we lost some track time, but the mechanics did an amazing job to fix the car so we could go out again before lunch, which meant we could complete the full programme.

“Now the 2017 season is finally over for me, and from today the focus and preparation will be fully on next year. There is one more test day here and I wish Stoffel [Vandoorne] and Lando [Norris] a productive day tomorrow – I’ll follow the results from home and I’ll be back in the factory soon for seat fit preparations and development work for 2018.

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“There’s a lot going on and I’m very happy with the direction for next year.”

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen set the quickest lap in the first of two days of testing, while Robert Kubica racked up 100 laps for Williams as he attempts to make a comeback next year.

First Published: Nov 28, 2017 23:27 IST