Minor McLaren problem prevents Fernando Alonso running in F1 testing

McLaren has conceded to enduring a day of frustration after being hampered by a coolant leak it has described as "minor"

Minor McLaren problem prevents Fernando Alonso running in F1 testing

Fernando Alonso completed just three installation laps early on before his day was brought to a very premature end, undoing some of the good work of the previous three days of the first pre-season test at Barcelona.

Director of engineering Matt Morris said: "Unfortunately, the leak we experienced on the car was in a tricky position, which meant it took longer than usual to locate and fix.

"It's always frustrating when a small issue hampers your running for much of a day, but thankfully it's relatively minor and we can now look to preparing the car for the second test on Tuesday.

"Testing is testing, and it gives us the opportunity to identify and work on reliability issues before we start the season."

Why Honda progress isn't enough

Over the first three days McLaren managed a total of 206 laps, although a minor fire caused by a hydraulic leak brought Jenson Button's running in the MP4-31 to an early end on Wednesday, with Alonso's issue compounding matters.

Morris added: "We've done a good amount of running and already learned a lot about our package, which should stand us in good stead for next week.

"We're definitely ahead of where we were last year in terms of system checks and integration, so at the second test we'll be able to focus more on race simulations and set-up, as well as characterising our package's performance."

Alonso described his day as "disappointing", but tried to put a brave face on the matter, and with an eye to improving next week.

"It's good news that although the issue we had on the car meant we had to miss a lot of today's running, it's not a major problem and will be fixed in time for next week's test," said Alonso.

"Overall, we've managed a good number of laps during this test, which means we have a lot of data to analyse and learn from.

"Over the weekend we'll work hard to get everything prepared for next week, with the aim of getting as much time on track as possible."

HONDA HAS WORK TO DO

From power unit supplier Honda's perspective it knows it has some way to go for its side of the car to be ready for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

New Honda boss Yasuke Hasegawa said: "To summarise our first four days of testing, we had a positive start, with confirmation of the improvement of the ERS deployment.

"However, the latter days revealed there are areas of the power unit reliability we need to work on to prepare for Australia onwards.

"In the second test next week, we are aiming to gauge the full performance of the car."

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