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Dampener: Weather the only complaint at 'spectacular' Mugello track

Fernando Alonso set the fastest lap at the Italian circuit as drivers prepare for next week’s Spanish Grand Prix

Image: Getty Images

FERNANDO ALONSO WAS frustrated by a damp Formula One testing session on Tuesday, but sang the praises of the Mugello circuit.

Spaniard Alonso, a two-time F1 world champion, set the fastest lap for Ferrari with a time of 1 minute 22.444 seconds.

Bad weather meant the teams were unable to push to the limit during the first mid-season testing session since 2008.

“It’s a shame about the rain, which complicated the running of this first day of testing and a shame for the spectators who deserved to see more of a show,” Alonso said.

“We had a pretty busy work programme, but we only managed to get through a part of it. Therefore, it’s impossible to give a serious evaluation, especially as we did so little dry running.

Alonso was delighted to be back at the Mugello circuit near Florence, Italy.

Owned by Scuderia Ferrari, the track has staged MotoGP and pre-war Grand Prix racing, but not a modern F1 event.

“I can only say that, for me, it was a pleasure to be driving at this track again: the first and only other time was back in 2001, when I was testing for Minardi,” Alonso said.

“It’s a spectacular track and it would be nice to be able to race on it.”

Red Bull’s Mark Webber was second fastest on Tuesday, 1.204 seconds slower than Ferrari.

The Australian emphasised the importance of the run-out prior to the season resuming with the Spanish GP on May 13, and echoed Alonso’s positive feedback on the Mugello venue.

“We’re hoping for better (weather) over the next couple of days,” Webber said.

“It’s an important test. We have a lot of information to gather and, while today didn’t quite work out as expected, I’m optimistic that over the course of the next few days we’ll get the information we need.

Challenging

“I have to say this is a fantastic track. It’s very challenging for the driver and very quick.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever race here in the future, you never know, but to see the crowd here today was very special. A lot of people came to watch and that’s great.”

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull leads the F1 drivers’ standings by four points from McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton after four races of season.

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