|It was a delayed start to the 2017 testing programme for McLaren-Honda at the Circuit de Catalonia on Monday when, after successfully completing an installation lap shortly after the track went green at 09:00, an anomaly was detected in the power unit, which was identified as an oil systems issue.
In order to trace the problem, a full investigation was required, so the team elected to change the power unit and examine it further once out of the car.
This meant the car was unable to run again in the morning session while the team worked to swap the power unit.
Once the new power unit had been installed, Fernando Alonso was able to return to the track at approximately 16:00 to re-commence the run plan for the day.
In the short amount of time he had left, the Spaniard managed to complete 29 laps, focusing on data correlation and systems checks, in line with the usual programme for the first day of a test.
“Obviously today hasn’t been the most perfect start to winter testing, which is a little bit disappointing,” he said. “We lost a lot of track time which isn’t ideal at pre-season testing, but the situation is what it is, and there’s nothing we can do. It’s important that we learn from it and don’t repeat the same thing, and try to make up some time in the next couple of days.”
“There’s not much to gauge from the car at the moment after only 29 laps, since the first few laps of any running on the first day consist of installations and the necessary systems checks. I’m looking forward to having a proper day of running and hopefully we’ll then be able to make some more conclusive evaluations.”
“It’s too early to fully assess the performance and the feeling of the new cars under the new regulations, but at least aesthetically they look much more like Formula 1 cars should look. Let’s wait and see what happens in the next few days, but I’m very motivated and ready for the new challenge.”