Although Fernando lost a rear wheel and spun into the gravel with half a dozen laps covered on the first day of the Formula 1 pre-season test in Barcelona, he ended the day optimistic about the potential of the McLaren-Renault package while playing down the morning incident.
“So far so good,” Alonso told reporters in the Circuit de Catalunya paddock. “Obviously very early days, but the car and engine was running fine.
“I know a lot of people from Renault from my past. I know 80 per cent of people in the garage and how they work and how much attention they play to driveability and the performance of the engine.
“Every run was a nice chat with them, in Navarra during the filming day and also here. It was running very smoothly. There are a few things we are trying to change and adapt like every new car. But on the engine side extremely happy and there is huge potential in the McLaren-Renault team.”
The images of Alonso’s stricken McLaren beached in the sand conjured up memories of their ill-fated three years with Honda, but the Spaniard played down the incident.
He said, “It was a very, very small problem but very graphic and very obvious because a car in the gravel is a big thing. There are six teams in the garage with the door closed with the car in pieces, but no one sees – there are no pictures of that.”
“There are a lot of teams in trouble – and big trouble – and for us with a wheelnut it will make the big thing of the day.” insisted Alonso who will be back on duty on Wednesday. with Stoffel Vandoorne in action on Tuesday and Thursday.
Big Question: Is a rear wheel working itself off car only a very very small problem?