McLaren driver, Fernando Alonso, had a difficult Friday FP1 and FP2 at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, with the Spaniard having a minor spin early in the first practice session.
Despite being a firm favourite amongst drivers, Alonso commented that his beginning of the race weekend was “a tough day, generally,” and that “our most important objective for this afternoon was to understand the compounds across the length of a long-run, and we did that,” with Pirelli giving the options of the soft, medium and hard tyres to the drivers for this weekend’s Grand Prix, with the first two free practices are the perfect time for the teams to gather data on their performance.
Alonso finished in ninth and eight place respectively in the practices, but feels that work still needs to be done with the set-up of the car to be in with a chance of making it through to Q3 on Saturday.
“Nonetheless, we’re not yet happy with the set-up and we need to do some more work this evening,” said Alonso. “We need to find something extra tonight – let’s just hope it doesn’t rain in FP3 tomorrow as we need to understand the changes we make tonight ahead of qualifying and the race. Getting into Q3 could be quite difficult now.”
The McLaren team are also looking into what what caused Alonso’ spin in FP1 at Spoon, with the driver alluding to the idea that something was wrong with the rear wing as he turned into the turn.
“It looked like there were some aerodynamic issues with the rear wing. Luckily, we didn’t damage the car and could continue running until the end of FP1.”