Things not are going to plan for Fernando Alonso at McLaren

Jonathan Hernandez
May 13, 2017

New balls, please. Or, a new engine please, in the case of the grotty McLaren Fernando Alonso was briefly driving in front of his home fans on Friday.

The drip turned into a gush of yellowish liquid when a crane lifted the McLaren away from the track.

Honda is still chasing answers as to why Alonso's engine blew up after encountering a sudden oil pressure loss just three corners into an installation lap at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Alonso said in a press conference that if things did not improve by September, he would be listening to any offer from another team for next season.

The two-time Formula One champion has yet to finish a race this season due to reliability issues with his auto and its troublesome Honda engine.

Honda is still investigating the exact cause of Alonso's failure, and its F1 engine chief Yusuke Hasegawa explained that an order for the Spaniard to stop the vehicle after telemetry data showed a warning came too late. It's the first time that I've had a Friday this season without any big problems - we ran through our programme without any big issues, so that was good. Now when next week we start the free practice and you start running with all the people around etc., I will hopefully feel a little bit more confident and start understanding what the vehicle needs and what I need as well to be prepared for May 28.

The 35-year-old Alonso ranks sixth all-time with 32 wins, but his last victory came at the 2013 Spanish GP while he was with Ferrari.

McLaren executive director Zak Brown told BBC Sport: "If we can build him a competitive auto, he will stay". He endured the embarrassment of having to abandon the Russian GP last round when his auto broke down on the formation lap.

McLaren's mechanics worked flat out to replace the engine in his vehicle - a three and a half hour procedure they now have down to a tee.

With his FP1 over, Alonso - who will miss the Monaco GP to race the Indy500 - chose not to stay at the circuit, instead heading out for a game of tennis.

Ferrari pair Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, who in reverse order took one and two at qualifying last round in Russian Federation, clocked the third and fourth fastest times less than half a second off Hamilton's pace.

"My intention, and my first priority, is to race here (F1) next year, but not just to race".

"I try to support the team and drive as fast as I can, but the problem is not entirely mine. It looks like it will be between them and us", Vettel said. "And not only to race, I want to win".

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