Fernando Alonso: “We’re not fully ready to complete a race distance”


Fernando Alonso completed only 46 laps on Wednesday - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Fernando Alonso had another disrupted day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Wednesday and admitted his McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team are not yet in a position to complete a race distance despite the new season being just around the corner.

The Spaniard completed only 46 laps of his home track and was 3.731 seconds down on the outright pace set by Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Valtteri Bottas, and feels his car is lacking power from its Honda engine, as well as its well publicised reliability issues.

Alonso is expecting a strong reaction to come from his team ahead of the first race of the season in Australia, especially with just two days of pre-season testing remaining tomorrow and Friday.

“Any mileage we can do is good, but as we’re starting to understand the car more, it’s important to try different set-ups,” said Alonso. “You can do this in 12 runs of 10 laps each, or in 12 runs of 3 laps each – you’ll still finish the day with 40 or 50 laps, but with exactly the same information.

“With the problems we’ve had, the team has very cleverly opted for these short runs, which gives us the same valuable information at the end of each day. I think we’re going in the right direction, but there are obvious areas where we need to improve.

“We’re not fully ready to complete a race distance at the moment, and we’re only two weeks away from the first race. We will improve – we have to improve – and I’m expecting a very strong reaction from the team.

“I feel ready for this new challenge, and I’m driving at my best. The car is good in the corners, it’s a good chassis, and we’re just missing one thing, which is power. We’ll do whatever we need to improve this and be competitive. I remain confident because we’re a big team, we’re going in the right direction, and I think we have the capability to improve the situation.”