Alonso: McLaren has one problem ... Honda

Fernando Alonso

Alonso: McLaren has one problem ... Honda

From the very first day at the Circuit de Catalunya to the last today, McLaren have been beset by reliability issues. The vehicle is responding well to changes and everything is working fine.

"I think it's similar to past year to be honest".

"We are not completing our programme and we are not doing the laps that we plan every morning, and we are missing some information with the lack of laps". For Australia we'll have to hope for more, we have to be hopeful because the last two specs we worked with didn't match our expectations.

"I'm always going anticlockwise, so when the people go pessimistic, I go optimistic and when the people get overexcited, I get anxious", he said.

An electrical problem stopped the Honda-powered MCL32 on track twice during Thursday's running, and the team opted to sit out the final hour as a precaution, leaving Vandoorne with just 48 laps to his name for the day.

"Now there's problems in the auto that we have not exactly discovered yet". I think every lap we do, there is a lot of information coming to the team, and improving the situation slowly. For that, hopefully we get the big decisions that will change this situation.

The Spaniard said the engine had "no reliability and no power", with only two days of testing remaining before the first race of the season on March 26 in Melbourne. The laps we complete are quality laps, we're getting to know the auto, we find some issues, like the rear brake calliper overheating after 11 laps, or the tear offs going into the radiators and making temperatures go up, meaning you have to put a net on the intake for Australia to prevent that from happening.

The two-time world champion, who quit Ferrari to join McLaren ahead of its reunion with Honda two years ago, was even more outspoken with the Spanish media, reputedly telling reporters: "The team is all ready to win except Honda".

"The only question is how much power we will have". From the analysis we can do compared to the other cars, around the corners we don't lose time in nearly all corners, but we're 30 /40 kph down in every single straight. When people go pessimistic, I go optimistic, and when people are overexcited, I'm getting anxious! I feel I am the best driver out there. I don't know at which point of the year but we will be competitive and I want to win races. It brings me more motivation to continue and to win, because I will not stop racing without a good feeling, and a good result that I think I deserve. I see myself at the highest level. I believe that we have a good electrical motor - similar or equal to the best - as we can deploy all the way down the straights nearly into the braking areas, so we're doing well in that area. "Now it's the time to attack".

On turn 3 at the Circuit de Catalunya - is Fernando able to take this flat out in the new auto? "For us, almost all the corners are flat".

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