Fernando Alonso declared himself pleased with his first proper day of testing with the new Ferrari at Valencia on Tuesday. The Spaniard, who had shaken down the car after its launch last week, managed nearly 100 laps on Formula 1's first day of testing of 2011.
Alonso finished as fifth quickest, over seven tenths off Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, but admitted his main priority for the test was to do as many laps as possible.
"It's OK – feeling good, nothing surprising," Alonso told reporters. "The biggest priority for this test is to do mileage, to learn about the car, to have a lot of data for when we go back to Maranello. Today was a positive day, with no mechanical problems at all in the car so that was positive.
"We kept playing with the new rules, the KERS, etc., and to get used to the system. And then the tires, they degrade a lot and they are not very consistent at the moment.
"We are very limited about the number of tires as well, so you have to keep a set of tires for the whole morning and then one for half of the afternoon and one for the end. It's difficult to do setup changes and to really get an answer at the moment."
The Spaniard admitted it was tricky to handle all the buttons inside the car now, and he believes some drivers could benefit from working them better.
"Obviously it's not very easy, so if you lose concentration you lose performance," he said. "But also it's something that drivers who can adapt quickly can use as an advantage, so it's also a challenge for all of us, to try to do better than our opponents."
But he played down concerns about possible failures of the movable rear wing system (see video, BELOW), saying the wing would actually return to its original position thanks to the downforce.
"You feel nothing," he said when asked if he could tell when the wing was returning to its high-downforce position. "You have to trust the thing. In the mirror you see the rear wing, but when you are braking you are not looking at the rear wing. If anything happens one day and the system is not working, just the pressure of the air will put the wing down."