Fernando Alonso feels his day of running in the RS20 in Abu Dhabi may be “welcome” but it is “not very important”.
The double World Champion is in action at the Yas Marina circuit on Tuesday, putting in the laps in a 2020 Renault F1 car.
But while he already had a taste of the RS20, that was limited to just 100km during a filming day. On Tuesday he can do as many laps as he wants.
The FIA’s decision to allow Alonso to run in the young driver test, an outing usually reserved for drivers with two or fewer grands prix starts, irked Renault’s rivals.
Alonso, though, has downplayed its importance ahead of his F1 return, saying he’s already learned what he needs to during tests in the 2018 Renault F1 car.
“Honestly, it’s not very important,” he insisted to Autosport.
“I know that there was a lot of media attention to this. I mean, every kilometre is important, and it will be welcome.
“But I feel more or less ready after the 2018 [car] days. This one will be nice, because it’s the race engineers and mechanics, so I get to know them a little bit more, because the 2018 testing was with a young team.
“So on that aspect it’s gonna be nice to get some interaction with the people you will work with in the future.
“But in terms of feeling or driving or something, it’s okay, but it’s not a day or night change for my preparation.”
— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) December 15, 2020
The Spaniard, who will be back on the grid after years away from Formula 1, is hoping he can offer Renault some guidance after Tuesday’s run.
“You will give your feedback, but honestly, I don’t know what they can do into next year with this car, because they are losing a lot of downforce from the cars, and with the different tyres,” he said.
“So, how much will affect anything you say going into next year, I don’t think it’s gonna be any.
“So it’s more for me to feel comfortable with the guys, as I said, the seat position, whatever. It should be enough, but not too much.”
Alonso will team up with Esteban Ocon in his first season back on the grid with Daniel Ricciardo off to McLaren.