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Gallery: Alonso's first McLaren test in 2006

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Gallery: Alonso's first McLaren test in 2006
By: Fabien Gaillard
Dec 18, 2018, 6:22 AM

On December 15, 2006, Fernando Alonso tested a McLaren Formula 1 car for the first time.

Alonso arrived at McLaren as a two-time champion, having defeated Ferrari's Michael Schumacher in a season-long battle in 2006.

However, his contract with Renault extended until the end of the 2006 calendar year, forcing McLaren to hold discussions with the French manufacturer to secure an early release.

The talks were successful and Alonso was able to drive for McLaren in the final test of the year at Jerez in Spain.

The Spaniard emerged in white overalls and helmet, none of which carried any sort of branding. The car he tested was also devoid of sponsor stickers.

In all, Alonso completed 95 laps of the Spanish circuit, clocking a time of 1m19.750s. It was just over two-and-a-half tenths slower than the best lap of Lewis Hamilton, who was supposed to join Alonso at McLaren the following year.

"I'm pleased that I was able to drive the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 car earlier than expected and would like to thank Renault and Flavio Briatore for agreeing to this," Alonso said at that time.

"I'm really excited about the future and would like to wish everybody a merry Christmas and a happy new year."

McLaren's then CEO Martin Whitmarsh added: "The drivers have also been working through various development programmes for the MP4-22, such as suspension, aero and set-up work.

"With Lewis (Hamilton) we have also spent time on activities such as putting him out in traffic so that he builds experience of running with other cars."

Check out pictures from the historic test:

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Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
1/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

Fernando Alonso, Mclaren MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, Mclaren MP4/21
2/21

Photo by: Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso, Mclaren MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, Mclaren MP4/21
3/21

Photo by: Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso, Mclaren MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, Mclaren MP4/21
4/21

Photo by: Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso, remercie les ingénieurs McLaren

Fernando Alonso, remercie les ingénieurs McLaren
5/21

Photo by: Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
6/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
7/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
8/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
9/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
10/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
11/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
12/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
13/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
14/21

Photo by: Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
15/21

Photo by: Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
16/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
17/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
18/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
19/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
20/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Mercedes MP4/21
21/21

Photo by: Gareth Bumstead

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso Shop Now
Teams McLaren Shop Now
Author Fabien Gaillard