Fernando Alonso will not take part in the first Formula 1 test session next month in Jerez, the team announced today. Felipe Massa will get the first run in the car, followed by newcomer Pedro de la Rosa.
Ferrari’s online announcement doesn’t give much room for speculation about why Alonso would miss the chance to get accustomed to this year’s Maranello machine.
“In the meantime and throughout all the first part of February, Fernando Alonso will intensify his physical training, in preparation for a first part of the season which, as usual will be very demanding, both because of the long distances involved between the various Grands Prix and because of the variety of weather conditions encountered from Melbourne to Sakhir, with Sepang and Shanghai in between. Fernando will get behind the wheel of the fourth car of his Ferrari career for the first time on 19 February at Montmelo’s Catalunya circuit. The Spaniard will drive for three days before handing over to team-mate Massa. The final test session, also at Montmelo from 28 February to 3 March will see Felipe and Fernando take turns on track: Thursday and Saturday for the Brazilian, Friday and Sunday for the Spaniard. This means the breakdown of test days for the Ferrari men is as follows: Massa six days, Alonso five and De La Rosa one.”
Ferrari does sort of emphasize the total about of testing, which ends up being more even. But Alonso will be a few weeks behind, in terms of just the simple amount of time to think about the Jerez session and begin processing the new car.
Big deal? Not a big deal?