Ron Dennis has calmed fears that world champion Fernando Alonso’s famously aggressive driving style might not suit his new McLaren team.
The 25-year-old Spaniard won back to back titles for Renault in 2005 and last season, but it has been suggested by some observers that recent McLarens seem to require a more subtle cockpit manner.
Woking based team principal Dennis admitted that, prior to Alonso’s unbranded test before Christmas, McLaren chiefs were “concerned” that their new acquisition might be a mismatch for the MP4-22.
“Yet there wasn’t (an issue),” said the Briton.
When shaking down the MP4-22 this week, Alonso said the 2006 McLaren he tested for one day last December has the “same philosophy” and basic handling.
Dennis continued: “As simple as that. Instead, it’s a good match.”
Alonso, meanwhile, told Spanish media that the newly-launched 2007 McLaren will receive upgraded bodywork and engine parts in “mid-February”.
Despite carrying the coveted number ‘1’ for the second season in a row, he played down any suggestion that he is a definite title contender for 2007.
“Hopefully, there will be a time when I can say that, but I don’t want to create false expectations,” Alonso said.