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F1: Ferrari say Alonso is as fit as an Olympian ahead of return to cockpit

Ian Parkes

Published 18/02/2013 | 12:15

FERRARI have hailed Fernando Alonso as fit as an "Olympic athlete" ahead of his return to the cockpit tomorrow.

Following an exhausting campaign last year in which Alonso narrowly missed out on his second Formula One world title to Sebastian Vettel by three points, the Spaniard opted to skip the first test in Jerez a fortnight ago.

Rather than getting acquainted with the new car, Alonso instead chose to focus on his training, allowing team-mate Felipe Massa to put the F138 through its paces for three of the four days, with tester Pedro de la Rosa taking over for the final day.

Now Alonso is ready to take up the reins ahead of the second test that starts tomorrow at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

Regarding Alonso's training, Ferrari said on their official website: "Fernando has maximised the time available and tackled the task with great dedication, performing a focused physical preparation worthy of the best Olympic athlete by alternating between gym sessions, running and biking.

"Now Fernando is ready to slip into the cockpit of the F138 and benefit from all the work of Felipe and Pedro in Andalusia.

"This week it will be the Brazilian to sit out for the first three days, with the handover from his team-mate scheduled on Friday."

Massa set the fastest time overall from the four days in Jerez, with Ferrari simply aiming to build on that as they temper expectations.

They added: "After driving in Jerez, Massa was optimistic but cautious.

"The fact Felipe set the quickest time of the four days was seized on by observers as a sign the Prancing Horse will gallop away with the title.

"However, in Maranello, the culture of not paying attention to speculation, focusing on one's own tasks and working hard means that preparing for another week of testing has been occupying everyone's time to the full, without any distractions.

"A positive start in Jerez is just that, a positive start and nothing more."

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