Despite a positive start to the day and some productive initial running at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Fernando Alonso’s programme was brought to a halt on track just after 11:00am, when the team detected an oil leak.
Given the location of the leak and the time-consuming process required to identify and fix it in-situ, the team opted to swap the power unit so that the problem could be repaired outside the car.
Fernando returned to the track just after 17:00hrs for a further 10 laps before the chequered flag, as well as practice launches and start procedures.
Fernando completed 57 laps in total and set the sixth-fastest time of the day.
Fernando Alonso: “Of course, the programme we had planned today was longer than 50-something laps, but Stoffel and I faced a couple of issues over the last couple of days and this is part of testing – hopefully now these things won’t happen on lap 10 in Melbourne. In a way, it’s useful learning and I’m happy that we’re continuing to make the car stronger and stronger. We managed to complete all the important parts of the programme this morning, so the rest of the day was more about long runs and putting in extra mileage, without needing any specific information to send back to the factory. I’m not worried about the track time we lost today. I have one more day in the car before Australia, and I hope we’ll be able to do some long runs and check extra things in order to keep discovering more about our new package, but the fundamental questions we needed to answer in winter testing have been answered, so for me the final day is not crucial. If we went to Australia tomorrow, I’d feel okay.”
Eric Boullier, Racing Director: “It’s a shame we lost track time today due to another time-consuming issue. However, in many ways I’m glad these problems are occurring now – in testing – as this is exactly why we’re here. These are the days when we need to ensure all bases are covered and all processes analysed. We’re working with a completely new package for 2018 and it’s inevitable that problems such as these will occur, but of course it’s frustrating that such issues are both so visible and so lengthy to rectify. We’ve already gathered a large volume of important data and each day we’re still making progress with our pre-season preparation, so we’ll keep pushing ahead until the end of the test.”