Alonso believes the new McLaren MCL33 has strong potential

Alonso believes the new McLaren MCL33 has strong potential

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Fernando Alonso
photo ATP

Fernando Alonso believes the new McLaren MCL33 has strong potential after his first test day with the car. The double F1 world champion and his team had a tough Monday as the program was interrupted early in the morning.

Alonso only managed to complete six laps before a wheel nut issue led to the MCL33 being pitched into the gravel minus his rear right wheel. The repairs took some time but the afternoon was much more productive. The team stated the issue was relatively minor.

The scheduled test programme for the first test day included set-up changes. After that weather conditions became less than favourable – the temperature dropping dramatically and the track becoming increasingly wet. The team opted to continue running in order to gather essential data, albeit with a more limited programme that would have been possible in the dry.

“The first thing I thought when we had the wheel nut issue was that it was a good day for the media!”, Alonso commented. “It was a very small problem, but very obvious when you see a car in the gravel. In testing, there are cars in the garage in pieces and nobody sees that.”

Fernando Alonso believes the new McLaren MCL33 has strong potential after his first test day with the car

“We didn’t plan to run much in the morning in our scheduled test programme, and we had planned fundamental changes on the car over lunch, so the lack of morning running hasn’t been a big handicap. We reverted to our normal programme after lunch, and I’m the one that has done the most laps in the afternoon while other teams have had issues.”

“For me, I feel that it has been a very good start. The car felt good both here [at Catalunya] and in Navarra, and there’s definitely strong potential. On the performance side, it’s very early days to make an assessment, but everything seems to be in line with our expectations from the wind tunnel and the data that we had before coming to the test. At the moment, I think everyone is quite optimistic.”

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