For his home Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso could not have got off to a worse start to his weekend, with the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team racer experiencing an engine problem after just three corners of his out lap on Friday morning.
The Spaniard saw his session ended there and then without a lap time on the board, and with time to spare he decided to do some additional training before returning to the track for the second session.
“Obviously, it’s not an ideal start to the weekend as we completely missed the first practice session because of an engine problem,” said Alonso. “At least I managed to get some training done – when I heard I had two hours before the next commitment I decided to do just that.
“I’ve had very little time in the last few weeks to train, and my dedication is still 100 per cent on my fitness and my preparation.”
Alonso finished bottom of the timing screens in the second session, but was able to complete twenty-one laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and he admitted that the pace showed was not that representative of where they should be, having had very little time to calibrate the new power unit that was fitted to his MCL32 between sessions.
“The poor show in the afternoon session was due to the fact that first of all, you need to calibrate the engine when you put in a new power unit, so in the first couple of runs the power was a little bit inconsistent,” said Alonso.
“We ran out of time, so we put on a new set of tyres even though not everything was calibrated. Towards the end of the session, when we put in more fuel and we were running in similar conditions to everyone else, we were doing more or less the lap time we were expecting, close to our main competitors for the race.
“I feel confident that tomorrow, when we’ll put everything together, we’ll be in a more or less competitive position and hopefully we can be close to the others.”