Fernando Alonso says the early technical issues that plagued McLaren on the opening day of testing at Jerez were to be expected.
Alonso managed to complete just six laps at the wheel of the Honda-powered MP4-30 on Sunday, as the team battled early teething problems with its new car-engine package.
“Given the complexity of modern Formula 1 machinery, the sorts of issues we encountered today weren’t too surprising,” he said. “They’re just the things you experience on the first day of a Formula 1 test.
“But it’s been a fantastic day for me: to have the privilege to drive the car for the first time – for the comeback of McLaren and Honda after 23 years – makes me feel extremely proud.
“Obviously, I don’t really have a feeling for the car yet – I only did a handful of laps, and most of those were at slow speed, conducting preliminary checks – so I need a bit more time to be able to speak accurately about it. But everything seems to be responding well, and showing us what we expected.”
Alonso spent the afternoon confined to the McLaren garage after a technical issue, but was quick to point towards the early teething problems experienced by Honda’s rivals during testing last year.
“We have a lot still to learn, but let’s not forget how tough it was for a lot of teams last year,” he added. “It’ll be no different for us. Every lap we do, we learn something, so hopefully we’ll arrive in Australia with a good understanding of the car.
“So far, everything feels very exciting – there are a lot of positive emotions inside the garage for everybody, and I’m very happy to be part of this project.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of McLaren