Fernando Alonso doubts McLaren will be ready for F1 season opener

Fernando Alonso is unsure whether the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team will be "completely ready" for the first race of 2015, because of reliability dramas that have blighted its pre-season testing

Fernando Alonso doubts McLaren will be ready for F1 season opener

Various problems have delayed the MP4-30 throughout the first six days of pre-season running, leading McLaren racing director Eric Boullier to declare the Woking F1 team is "50 per cent behind" on its scheduled test programme.

Alonso completed 59 laps at Barcelona on Friday, as McLaren restricted the running of its new Honda engine before switching to a redesigned ERS seal after problems so far during this test.

DAY ONE: Cause for concern at McLaren-Honda

Alonso told reporters McLaren is running out of time to be fully prepared for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix next month.

"We will arrive to Australia hoping Australia was in June or July, but it's in March and I don't know if we will arrive completely ready," Alonso said.

"But what I'm sure is we'll arrive in the best conditions we can.

"There are only six days of testing between now and Australia, so it's time for us to raise our game and start learning about the car.

"Today we had some new parts and re-enforced parts for the problems we had; tomorrow there are more coming.

"There is only 20 days to Australia; we'll see how prepared we arrive, but I'm happy with the progress we made."

SIGNS OF POTENTIAL

Alonso managed a best laptime 1.3 seconds shy of Daniel Ricciardo's benchmark effort for Red Bull, while driving the McLaren with reduced power.

The double world champion said his first significant running had given him cause for optimism about the ultimate potential of the package.

"Today finally showed to all of us that we are going in the right direction," he said.

"We could complete some runs and we started running at 9 o'clock and finished at 5:45pm, which is good news.

"We could test some of the potential of the car, check many systems we could not do before. Every lap we learn and discover new things.

"Obviously we are running with some limitations still, on the engine and full power etc, but definitely the car felt better than Jerez.

"The potential of the car is there, with limitations or no limitations the car feels quick, so slowly we will put in order some of the issues we have.

"We are happy with today, but we know we did 60 laps, which is the lower number of all the teams today, so still a long way to go, but definitely we are making progress."

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