McLaren hit early problems in testing as wheel comes off MCL33

Fernando Alonso in the gravel trap at Barcelona testing
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Fernando Alonso and McLaren F1 Team have hit early problems in the first day of testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as they brought out the first official red flag of the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

While it is very early days, Alonso had set the benchmark for the field as he topped the time sheets, reports suggest that the Spaniard had trouble through the final chicane, something broke within the wheel assembly and the wheel came away from the hub.

Having only completed five laps, this was not a good omen for the former champions as they look to bounce back from their time with Honda.

Following the red flag the car was brought back to the pit lane, not before a frustrated Alonso had inspected the damage trackside.

While external damage seems minimal it is not know how soon the McLaren will return to track as the team investigate what caused the problems.