Fernando Alonso: “Today hasn’t been the most perfect start”

Fernando Alonso had a tough opening day of pre-season testing on Monday - Credit: McLaren Media Centre

Fernando Alonso endured a difficult opening day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Monday as the Spaniard completed just twenty-nine laps after mechanical issues.

The McLaren-Honda Formula 1 Team driver lost all of the morning session due to an oil systems issue, which required a complete engine change, with the time it took to switch the units also compromising his afternoon running. As a result he was unable to gauge where the team are in comparison to their rivals, finishing tenth fastest of the eleven drivers who took to the track.

Alonso now hopes that the team can get some significant running in over the remaining three days of this test, although he hands over the reigns to his new team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne for day two of the test on Tuesday.

“Obviously today hasn’t been the most perfect start to winter testing, which is a little bit disappointing,” said Alonso. “We lost a lot of track time which isn’t ideal at pre-season testing, but the situation is what it is, and there’s nothing we can do. It’s important that we learn from it and don’t repeat the same thing, and try to make up some time in the next couple of days.

“There’s not much to gauge from the car at the moment after only 29 laps, since the first few laps of any running on the first day consist of installations and the necessary systems checks. I’m looking forward to having a proper day of running and hopefully we’ll then be able to make some more conclusive evaluations.

“It’s too early to fully assess the performance and the feeling of the new cars under the new regulations, but at least aesthetically they look much more like Formula 1 cars should look. Let’s wait and see what happens in the next few days, but I’m very motivated and ready for the new challenge.”