Fernando Alonso: McLaren driver spins off in Formula 1 testing in Barcelona


He was initially ranked fifth but his hottest lap was scrubbed off for cutting the final chicane.

Nonetheless, Alonso was satisfied with the maiden outing for the MCL33 and its new Renault engine after completing 51 laps.

"So far, so good", he said.

"The vehicle was running fine, the engine was running fine". I know a lot of people from Renault from my past, so 80 percent of the guys in the garage, I know them.

"We had a great chassis a year ago and everything is looking good in the development phase but the proof is in the pudding when you hit the track".

"Every run was a nice chat with them, in Navarra at the filming day and also here".

"Everything is running very smoothly and quite good", he added. There are a few things we are trying to change and adapt like every new auto. "I think there is a huge potential in the McLaren Renault team", added Alonso. "We reverted to our normal programme after lunch, and I'm the one that has done the most laps this afternoon while other teams have had issues".

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The Woking-based team had set a target of 100 laps per day at the Circuit de Catalunya after three terrible seasons with Honda. We're enjoying working with them and they're enjoying working with us. The auto felt good both here and in Navarra, and there's definitely strong potential.

In a recently released Amazon Prime documentary, racing director Eric Boullier described the experience as "physically and mentally painful" amid fears his star driver would simply walk out on the team.

"At the moment, I think everyone is quite optimistic".

"First lap, we had already used three engines", the Frenchman told reporters recently.

"We need to need to assess our vehicle and feed back to Woking to see what correlates with that has been simulated".

McLaren are still investigating what caused the wheel to come off, as their new era using Renault engines started badly.

Asked about the wheel nut issue, Alonso said his first thought was that it would make for good headlines for the media. I'm fit and focused, but I'm also relaxed, because I think we've had a very productive winter and have designed a very capable new vehicle.

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