Yet a dusting down and a few tweaks put the car back on track, leaving Alonso to post a fastest time good enough for fourth, which he was happy with.
“It was a good day’s work,” he said.
Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheet in front of a rather substantial home crowd, yet his challenger wasn’t the expected Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen but instead Timo Glock’s Toyota.
Glock was the only other driver to break into 1 min 19seconds, and was understandably chuffed, although slightly coy about his earlier shunt into Red Bull’s David Coulthard.
“When I turned in at the end of Hanger Straight, David was there. I just didn’t see him so I apologise for that,” he said, but added, “that was a good day’s testing for us.”
Kimi’s morning time was still quick enough for third mind you.
“Obviously it is far too early to say where we can be on this track compared to our main rivals, but I can see no reason why we should not be competitive,” Raikkonen said in the hotel bar afterwards.
Kimi might think it’s too early to say who’s going to be fastest at the British Grand Prix next weekend, but I see that as no reason why we shouldn’t indulge in some idle speculation.
So, what do you think? Lewis? Kimi? Adrian Sutil?