On the Spaniard's last day of pre-season testing at Jerez, Fernando Alonso on Monday broke the recent shock dominance of the Brawn team.

On the Spaniard's last day of pre-season testing at Jerez, Fernando Alonso on Monday broke the recent shock dominance of the Brawn team.

However, on the second day of the final winter test outing, Alonso's Renault was only fractionally faster than the Mercedes-powered BGP001 driven mainly by Rubens Barrichello.

Moreover, it is believed that while the R29 was fuelled light for a qualifying simulation when it clocked its fast time, the Brawn was laden with fuel for the entire session.

"This has been the first time we have run on a really hot track and the information we have from today will be very useful for the first few races," said Alonso, whose winter programme is now complete.

Jenson Button managed only 12 laps in the Brawn before a gearbox problem struck, but the Briton still managed to outpace the struggling McLaren driven by reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The MP4-24 was wearing a number of subtle aerodynamic changes, but the most attention centred on the rear of the car, where one side of the diffuser was notably fitted with what is presumed to be a device to record data.

Mercedes' Norbert Haug, however, admits that there will be no quick fix in the quest to return to contention for race wins.

"Expect us to fight back even if it takes some time," the German said. "However, it might take us a few races to significantly improve."

Williams' Nico Rosberg brought up the rear at the wheel of the FW31, which after the advice of the FIA's Charlie Whiting no longer features the prominent cockpit cowling fins.

The other teams concluded their winter programmes last week.

 

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