Fernando Alonso enjoyed a successful first run-out in the new Renault-powered McLaren MCL33 Formula 1 car on Friday, and offered good early feedback by telling fans that "good times are coming" after three difficult years.

McLaren unveiled its new F1 car on Friday ahead of a filming day at Navarra in Spain, with Alonso completing 50 km worth of running in the new car before handing over to teammate Stoffel Vandoorne for the remainder of the day.

It marked the first run for McLaren with new engine partner Renault, having cut ties with Honda at the end of last season following a turbulent three-year stint that ended with the team second from bottom in the constructors' championship.

After jumping out of the car following his filming run, Alonso was beaming as he spoke about the first run, hailing it as an important moment for the team after a long winter working on the new model.

"It felt great. It’s always a special moment when you drive the car for the first time," Alonso said.

"Everything feels good. Really looking forward to doing a proper lap now at full speed, but so far, good, a special moment. We ran behind some other cars and some camera pickup with filming equipment and things like that.

"It’s not full speed, but still good for the sponsors to get images, and for us it’s the first feel with the seat, with the pedals, the comfort side of it, and for the guys as well, the temperature, some bodywork and what we need to do.

"It’s good. The good thing about these days is the emotional part. After a very intense time in the factory for a few months, everyone working very hard, very proud of the team, and finally today arrives. The guys running, we’re all happy."

Asked to give a message to McLaren's fans, Alonso said: "I think good times are coming, that’s the message.

"We struggled, we kept motivation very high. I think the team is stronger now than three years ago. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

"I think the last three years make a very united team, a very strong team, and we will see the first results this year."

Alonso will get his first extended run in the McLaren-Renault MCL33 next week at the start of pre-season testing in Barcelona.


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