Alonso's McLaren struggles on first day of F1 tests

Fernando Alonso spent most of the first day waiting to get back out of the garage after his vehicle broke down following just one lap at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Monday.

McLaren ran on Sunday for a filming day at the Barcelona circuit and faced no issues, leading the team to confess that the problems with the power unit came as a shock.

"It's definitely not a flawless start of the winter testing", said Alonso, who is out of contract at the end of the season and said last week that he was approached by Mercedes after world champion Nico Rosberg retired suddenly in December. We are disappointed to arrive on the first day and not be able to run.

"It's not an ideal situation but it is the way it is, there is nothing more we can do from today than learn from whatever happened to the auto and try to recover time the next days". So I have three days to prepare.

Despite managing some limited laps in the final two hours Alonso notched up a total of 29 laps with a best time of 1m 25.821s to end the day 10th overall - over four seconds off timesheet topper Hamilton. Alonso said he would not ask the team to give him extra time in the MCL32, but suggested they would have to see how the rest of the week developed. It's not an ideal situation but it's the way it is.

He added that Alonso, who has a year left of his contract with McLaren, was "not very happy this morning" after being forced back into the pits.

"You have been working three months on your physical fitness, in the simulator, on the sponsors' commitments, launch the auto, and then you hit the track, something breaks down and you lose the day", Alonso added.

"Obviously one day is gone for me". Now you hit the track and go on the installation lap and something breaks down and you lose the day. "Many many things that are different this year because the tyres and the size of the auto".

"And then, next week, to have something better and hopefully similar to what we'll have in Australia, because right now it's hard to comment on the first day because we had so many issues".

As I said the time is very important this year, with the new regulations, with the new tyres, much information that we need to get in a very short period of time.

"Let's say this is not a problem, I'm lucky enough to have good experience, and to find the limits very quickly. It has been the same all of my life that I have adapted to the cars quicker than anyone else and I will do that also this year".

  • Julie Sanders