Fernando Alonso has claimed the post-season Formula 1 'young driver' test has ignited his competitive spirit ahead of his 2021 return.
The two-time F1 champion completed 105 laps for Renault across the one-day test in Abu Dhabi, setting the fastest time of the day as he worked with his race team for the first time.
Alonso's lap of one minute 36.333 seconds saw off the challenge of Mercedes driver Nyck de Vries by 0.262s as the Spaniard ramped up his preparations for next year.
The test was originally intended for drivers who have competed in no more than two grands prix, only for the FIA to rule out any driver who had taken part in this year's championship.
“It was good and very nice to be back in the car especially with the race team," said Alonso.
"I’ve been testing the 2018 car in preparation but this one felt a bit more serious and it ignited a little bit the competitive spirit. It was great to feel the modern cars and experience what they can do.
"I was watching the team’s progress at the weekend closely and it was nice to experience what I learnt from the outside and then inside the cockpit."
While setting the fastest time of the day, Alonso added the team had spent time completing tasks which would normally ticked off during pre-season testing.
With only three days of testing ahead of the 2021 season, his statement confirmed the concerns of McLaren and Racing Point that Renault, soon to be rebranded as Alpine, would be gaining a small advantage from the test.
Alonso explained: "We signed off lots of basic things we did in preparation at the factory, like seat fitting, pedal position and so on, which is beneficial with only one and a half days of winter testing next year.
"We ticked boxes and we go into Christmas and New Year with good spirit and everyone motivated in the team."
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