F1 testing: Alonso's wheel loss drama 'no big deal' - McLaren

McLaren sitting out most of Formula 1 2018 pre-season testing's opening session due to Fernando Alonso losing a wheel was "no big deal", insists executive director Zak Brown

F1 testing: Alonso's wheel loss drama 'no big deal' - McLaren

Alonso caused the Barcelona test's first red flag just six laps into his programme, as he was left stranded in the gravel after the right-rear wheel came loose on his new Renault-powered MCL33.

He was only able to return to the track minutes before the lunchbreak, and ended the session with a field-low 10 laps under his belt.

Brown did not go into detail on the problem that caused Alonso's off, describing it as a "wheel-nut issue" with an "easy fix", and said the disruption was no cause for alarm.

"We're fine," he said. "That's what testing is for.

"I think all the teams will have a variety of issues throughout testing, that's exactly what it's for.

"We're going to lose very little time, so no big deal at all."

Early woes for McLaren conjured up memories of the team's disastrous start to testing with its previous partner Honda last year - but Brown insisted McLaren remained "relaxed" despite the early hitch.

Asked whether the early drama in testing would be exacerbated by McLaren's recent record, Brown said: "No, there's no drama. In the garage everyone is quite relaxed, just getting on with it.

"I think this team is used to having public pressure and having eyes on us. We enjoy that, we like to step up to the plate and thrive on the opportunity.

"We don't feel any added pressure that we don't already put on ourselves.

"The mood in the team is great. Everyone is very happy to be at the race track. Everyone's back watching and staying tuned at the factory.

"Our shakedown went very well so everyone is very excited for the new season."

While McLaren propped up the mileage rankings, former supplier Honda enjoyed a productive day with its new partner Toro Rosso, whose STR13 was second-best in the session in terms of distance covered as it racked up 72 laps.

Asked about Honda's trouble-free start to life with Toro Rosso, Brown said: "I don't think there's a team in pitlane that's going to have a trouble-free season. I'm not sure there ever has been.

"We're paying attention to our programme. Obviously Honda, we wish them the best and Toro Rosso is a great team.

"But we're focused on our own programme and we're quite happy with where we are sitting here today."

shares
comments
F1 testing: Ricciardo and Red Bull lead, McLaren in early trouble

Previous article

F1 testing: Ricciardo and Red Bull lead, McLaren in early trouble

Next article

Performance updates not first priority as Honda targets reliability

Performance updates not first priority as Honda targets reliability
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams McLaren
Author Filip Cleeren
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021