Fernando Alonso says the 2018 Formula 1 world championship season opener is unlikely to host any surprising results with teams catching up on pre-season mileage at the second test at Circuit de Catalunya.

Alonso, whose McLaren team ended pre-season testing bottom of the lap counts, is confident his team’s combined 599 laps over the two weeks in Spain is enough to see the squad up to speed in time for the 2018 opener in Australia in less than two weeks.

The two-time F1 champion completed the fewest number of laps of any 2018 race driver at 263 laps – only beating Williams third driver Robert Kubica and Force India development driver Nikita Mazepin – but confidently declared he was ready for the Australian Grand Prix even before his final day of testing.

Compared to his rivals' marathon testing mileage even with the first test hampered by cold temperatures and snow, Alonso feels no team will be able to produce a shock in time for the first race of the new season.

“I think more or less the teams are now capable and ready to understand and prepared for the simulator work you will face in Australia,” Alonso said. “Definitely the setup work that you do here in Barcelona means nothing so I am not worried to lose half a day because whatever setup optimisation you do here will mean nothing for Australia.

“It will also not mean anything for May when you come here and it's 30 degrees.”

Alonso's only remaining concern is McLaren’s understanding of the behaviour of Pirelli’s new F1 tyres with a particular focus on the wet weather tyres due to the lack of consistent running in the wet in Spain.

“I think the bad weather was a big factor, especially because we could not test the wet tyres,” he said. “Normally they do some programmes for the races and some safety car starts and things like that. It was that cold that we could not develop the wet tyre either.

“Hopefully that will not have any consequences on the first races if they are wet and the tyres behave.”


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