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Alonso debuts for McLaren at Jerez 15 Dec 2006

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Mclaren runs for the first time. Formula One Testing, Day 3, Jerez, Spain. 15 December 2006. World © Bumstead/Sutton. Fernando Alonso (ESP) Mclaren Formula One Testing, Day 3, Jerez, Spain. 15 December 2006. World © Bumstead/Sutton. Fernando Alonso (ESP) has his first test for Mclaren. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, 15 December 2006. World © Patching/Sutton. Fernando Alonso (ESP) has his first test for Mclaren. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, 15 December 2006. World © Patching/Sutton. Fernando Alonso (ESP) Mclaren. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, 15 December 2006. World © Patching/Sutton.

Fernando Alonso got behind the wheel of a McLaren for the first time during testing in Jerez on Friday. Although Alonso’s contract with Renault is only due to expire on December 31, the French squad decided to allow the world champion an early taste of his new team.

“Fernando asked me to test one day with his new team to acclimatize himself to the car,” revealed Renault team principal Flavio Briatore. “We enjoy a very good relationship and considering his work and his fabulous achievements these past two years with the double world titles in 2005 and 2006, we decided to give him this opportunity.”

Due to sponsorship constraints, Alonso drove an unbranded MP4-21 at the Spanish circuit and sported a plain white helmet and overalls. After replacing McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa in the second car, Alonso took to the track alongside Lewis Hamilton, his team mate at the Woking-based squad for 2007.