McLaren's Fernando Alonso says things went “better than expected” on Friday during practice for the season opener in Australia.
Alonso was seventh quickest in the morning and sixth in the afternoon, but with the weather so changeable throughout both sessions he is not expecting to do so well on Saturday when conditions are forecast to be more settled.
“Tomorrow everything will be different because we're expecting a dry track and no wind, so conditions will be completely different,” explained the two-time Formula One World Champion. “Today things went well though so we can enjoy the moment.
“Tomorrow in final practice we still have a few things to try because today we didn't have the dry conditions we needed to try them – brakes, ride heights and others – but today the car had no issues and that's a good start and a good sign.
"Today was a positive day but tomorrow, when it will be dry, we won't be as well placed in the time sheets as we were today. But so far things have gone better than expected.”
Quizzed further on his day and the specific programme, he added: “I did a few practice starts, but there was a lot of wheel spin as we knew we didn't have the right clutch settings for wet conditions. The race start should be done in the dry so today the tests were more for the teams than for the drivers. But I'm happy to be back in the car, in a different track and finally at the moment of the truth.
“You can be for days in Barcelona running with the same set-up and everything is perfect and then get to another track and get a surprise. For us the surprise was a positive one so I'm happy with that.”