Fernando Alonso buoyant after 'very special' Aston Martin debut

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Fernando Alonso was in a buoyant mood after making his Aston Martin debut on Tuesday's Formula 1 test in Abu Dhabi.

Driving a sponsorless car in plain black overalls, the Spaniard completed 97 laps around Yas Marina and finished a tenth behind new teammate Lance Stroll on the timesheet.

But lap times were not important as the double world champion began familiarising himself with Aston Martin, his fifth different team during his 21-year career.

“It was good! It was a very nice experience. I feel honoured to drive for such an iconic brand," he said.

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“It was a very special day, having the first go in the car and trying to feel also the differences [between Alpine and Aston Martin]. Obviously, we raced two days ago here, so it’s very fresh and it’s very useful.”

The move to Aston is seen as a potential backwards step for Alonso after Alpine finished fourth in the Constructors' Championship last season, three places and 118 points clear of the Silverstone-based outfit.

But the 41-year-old remains very optimistic for the future.

"I cannot be overconfident for sure, as everything is going to change next year," he admitted.

"But the feeling I had in the garage with the guys, the potential of the team, the talent that I see in the engineering room here, is outstanding, so I’m really, really, really happy right now.

"When I signed for Aston I was 90 per cent happy, when they started improving and finished the season on a high I was 100, this morning I was 100, now I’m 100 plus!"

Alonso AD Test 2

As for his first impression of the AMR22, Alonso added: "Nothing really surprised me, the car was behaving well.

"We had some concerns about the steering feedback like in Alpine the first year, we had to work a lot for nearly five months on steering assistance and feedback.

"We had some concerns that we spoke about over the last few weeks so it was a happy surprise that I felt OK with Aston’s system and we don’t need to change much."