Alonso welcomes extra grip from new 2017 rules

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Fernando Alonso says that he longer feels like a "small child" any more when he's out driving a Formula One car on the track.

Alonso said that the extra grip on 2017's cars as a result of the new tyre and downforce regulations introduced over the winter have made the cars much better to drive.

"The way you attack the corners, the way you feel the grip, has been a good surprise," he said.

"It's been fun to drive freely again," he added.

"To be able to drive the way you want and not like a small child, so the tyres don't overheat. That's the best way to feel a Formula One car."

Not that Alonso was able to get much time out on track during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The two-time world champion managed to complete only 190 laps during the two four-day sessions. His McLaren team mate Stoffel Vandoorne fared only slightly better with 235 laps in the books.

That compared to 628 successful laps competed by Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes, and 591 for Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

The team was beset by a serious of electrical problems that resulted in several breakdowns on track requiring power unit changes, and stints that rarely broke into double digits.

"It’s clear we have a lot of preparation ahead of us to be ready in time for Melbourne," Alonso admitted on Friday.

"I’m hopeful we’ll be able to make the next step we need to be ready for Australia.”

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