Fernando Alonso believes the issues being faced by McLaren during pre-season testing in Barcelona seem a bigger deal than they really are due to added media attention.
The two tests at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya take place with all 10 teams present together, allowing attempts to compare lap times and mileage ahead of the first race in Australia. McLaren currently has the lowest lap count over the first six days after an oil leak limited Alonso to 57 laps on Wednesday, but the Spaniard says the problems that have hit so far are all minor and get highlighted by the media presence at the tests.
“I think this is more or less normal in every new car,” Alonso said of the problems faced. “Maybe you are new to this, but I am 18 years in and in winter testing I keep discovering things every year.
“It is the same not only in winter testing but before when testing was free we would test in between races, like before Monaco and Canada going to Paul Ricard and doing 20 laps a day and there was no coverage. Now, I understand we have hundreds of media, so every red flag attracts a lot of attention but from a team point of view we are more or less OK.
“There is nothing fundamentally a problem with the car and the issues we had are well under contr,ol but unfortunately we keep discovering small things every day. That is putting us in a strong position for Australia in the way we can enforce these small issues. It is better it happen here than in two weeks’ time.”
Alonso says he feels ready for Melbourne already despite the issues faced by McLaren during testing so far, even though he will drive again on Friday.
“Actually we probably need the last day to do some laps, some long runs, to check extra things that you always discover about the new car. But in terms of fundamental answers that we need over the winter test, they are already OK and we have all of them, so I don’t need the last day, to be honest.
“I will be in the car, I will drive – hopefully we will keep discovering new things on the car – but if Australia was tomorrow, it’s OK.”