Fernando Alonso: “It’s definitely been a valuable day for us”

Fernando Alonso achieved 72 laps in the MCL32 on Wednesday - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

After frustration on days one and two for the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team, Fernando Alonso was able to complete 72 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Wednesday, and felt progress had been made with the MCL32.

After engine changes for the Spaniard on day one and team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne on day two, it was a virtually trouble-free day on day three, with a full programme of running being completed, and Alonso felt that it was a valuable day to learn more about the characteristics of the 2017 McLaren.

Alonso finished tenth fastest overall on Wednesday, with a best time of 1:22.598 set on the Ultrasoft Pirelli tyre, ending up 2.893 seconds down on pacesetter Valtteri Bottas.

“The most important thing we can take from today is that we were able to do many more laps than both Stoffel and I could complete on our first days in the car,” said Alonso. “I’m happy that we were able to push through our plan for the day, gather a lot of new information, and learn a lot about the car, which is very positive after the issues we faced earlier in the week.

“The car feels good, and we’ve already made a lot of tweaks to the handling and set-up of the car from the first day. So far, the car is responding well to our changes, and overall we are seeing small improvements here and there, day-by-day, in different areas.

“The team worked really hard today to make sure we completed a lot of work on our programme, and we covered a lot of ground, testing different elements and working on various set-up configurations. It’s definitely been a valuable day for us.”