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Fernando's first thoughts
After completing 97 laps in an AMF1 car at Yas Marina Circuit, two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso gave his initial impression of the team and the AMR22.
"I feel honoured to be here to drive for such an iconic brand."
"I have been looking forward to today so much. It was a very nice experience: a very special day having a first go in the car, getting used to the team and the car, meeting all the mechanics, the engineers and trying to remember a lot of new names in a short space of time.
"Nothing really surprised me – the car was behaving well. We did 97 laps without any problems.
"There was a lot that we could take away from today. For example, the seat wasn't perfect because I have a bit of pain in different places – so we will have to make a new one when we have a little bit more time.
"Also, the controls on the steering wheel, the radio volume – all these small things we have to get perfect. They are always important to get sorted as soon as possible so you can concentrate on the car.
You can feel the energy in the team and how motivated everyone is. I can't wait for next year. I felt a very special atmosphere in the garage.
"We need to work hard this winter, including a lot of hours in the simulator, learning all the steering wheel controls and procedures – they are very different compared to what I'm used to. I have to practise them until they become automatic, in my head, in my fingers, so I arrive in Bahrain at 100%.
"Next year's car will be very different compared to this one, so any feedback that you get from this one is not really relevant for when we drive the AMR23.
"But I saw some different philosophies around setting up the car, developing the car, as well as managing the power unit. There are many things that you get initial feedback from; we will have to sit down and try to get the best out of everything.
"You can feel the energy in the team and how motivated everyone is. I can't wait for next year. I felt a very special atmosphere in the garage."