Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Alonso relying on experience after day one setback

2017 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso admitted McLaren’s start to testing was “definitely not perfect” after problems relating to his power unit limited him to just 29 laps on day one.

McLaren have to “concentrate and try to recover the time” said Alonso. “We are disappointed, sad to arrive to the first day and not be able to run.”

“We have four days for each driver before the world championship starts. Now one day is gone. So I have three days to prepare our world championship. It’s not an ideal situation but it is the way it is, there is nothing more we can do from today than learn from whatever happened to the car and try to recover time the next days.”

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017
Testing day one in pictures
Alonso said he is fortunate to be able to fall back on his experience to make up for his lack of running.

“I think the time is very important this year with the new regulations, the new tyres. Many information that we need to get in a very short period of time: three days in my case now.”

“Not only on the technical side, also the driving side, you need to find your limits, your driving style that suits this car and these tyres. You need to familiarise with the steering wheel, the starting procedures, the pit stop. Many things that are different this year because of the tyres, because of the size of the car. Obviously one day is gone for me.”

“Let’s say that this is not a problem, I am lucky enough to have good experience and find the limits very quickly – has been the same all my life that I adapt to the cars quicker than anyone else and I will do it for this year.”

Alonso acknowledged the team’s latest problems were especially unfortunate following two difficult seasons with engine supplier Honda. He told the media in Spain it was “a nice temptation for you guys to maximise today’s problems because it’s quite interesting from the media point of view after two difficult seasons we arrive to the winter testing and we don’t run the first day, unfortunately.”

2017 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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Posted on Categories 2017 F1 season, Fernando Alonso, McLaren

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  • 45 comments on “Alonso relying on experience after day one setback”

    1. “…I adapt to the cars quicker than anyone else and I will do it for this year.”

      man, this guy won’t stop, smh

      1. Just Alonso being his normal self. Now when McLaren turned out to be another dog of a car I wish Alonso would do what he told and make that jump to WEC. Wouldn’t miss him at all.

      2. Finally some confidence coming from him, last two years were just pessimistic comments about how bad the engine and car were.

        1. I think you shuld start reading the Spanish press, he´s been saying thet he is very happy, that McLatas are the only ones that can beat the Mercs, that Ferrari is this and that, etc…

          He´s been saying stuff for 2 years now.

      3. I agree. And if people call Hamilton arrogant then just look at Alonso..

        1. The man has a museum devoted to himself and he hasn’t even finished yet. I think that says quite a lot!

          1. So did DC and I wouldn’t call him arrogant.

          2. Yeah, he has a museum built by himself….big thing.

        2. If Alonso is your benchmark then Lewis will be out of this world arrogant… Mr. “After first day I’ll know where I’m weak” B.S. and “No data sharing” my ass…

      4. Is he wrong, though? Like him or not, he has shown that he’s quick to adapt to change.

      5. @antoine-de-paris So if he had a total meltdown and folded the tent what would you have said? He sounded relatively calm in my opinion.

      6. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        27th February 2017, 20:31

        Boo boo, a driver talking big and backing it up on the track as well when given the chance! I don’t get why people get so upset when drivers actually come out with fighting talk and belief in their own ability rather than cookie cutter ‘for sure’ interviews and corporate shpiel!

      7. @antoine-de-paris I don’t think it differs from reality too much. The guy adapts quickly, he’s shown that plenty of times.

        1. Yeah, like in 2015……..

      8. Here’s some news for you strange folk.. These drivers pay good money to mental coaches to install this type of attitude into them.
        It seems quite a few internet posters who take driver comments to heart could do with some coaching or perhaps even therapy :)

      9. And he also said that he was lucky he had that skill implying thankfulness

      10. @antoine-de-paris When Zlatan says the same thing, everyone’s having a laugh (in a positive way). F1 fans are far too sensitive.

      11. The only driver on the whole grid who actually adapts to cars, the only guy where you never hear those “the car just wasn’t to his liking” excuses and you call this arrogant.

      12. There is a difference between being arrogant and to know oneself.

    2. McLaren have good experience in this from last two years. Feel confident😊

    3. and the cycle continues :(

    4. So much for Mclaren Honda being ‘respectable’ this season.

    5. As a McLaren fan, all I can do now is laugh. What a joke team. 2012 feels such a long time ago now.

      1. I’m still at the point I feel pity for them. But come on: after two years finally getting to grips with the power and reliability of the Honda engine and it’s unique layout, someone somehow thought it was a good idea to throw away the whole engine and start anew… by copying Mercedes.

        If that’s true, McLaren seriously need to consider leaving Honda at the end of this year, especially when they’re again unreliable and underpowered.

        1. And go where for an engine supplier? In house?

          1. They do make nice engines for their road cars. I get that it’s a completely different thing, but still…
            Or apparently BMW is slowly turning into an option.
            Hope Honda get it together this year.

            1. agree with Rick, why throw away 2 years of development on a new concept? Honda have taken a step back, rather than forwards.
              They will be towards the back of the grid now!
              At least last year, the engine was better, and more reliable, so they should have concentrated on improving reliability further and maybe trying to extract an extra 75-100hp!

        2. I mentioned the exact same point. Taking 2 years to find out that your entire PU design is flawed just shows the level of incompetence at Honda.

          After 2 years, they decide to do a shoddy job of copying Mercedes’ layout, and they claim to have Mercedes’ 2016 level of PU performance?!? Yeah right!

          I think Mclaren need to cut their losses and start looking out for another engine partner. Working with Honda is getting them nowhere. I can bet all my money on the fact that Mclaren will never win a race with Honda power ever again.

    6. The McLaren looks even worse on track than in the studio pictures. How did they manage to cock up that livery so badly?

      1. Disagree. I think it looks the most simply aggressive car out there. Far less add on crap, just a single form of aerodynamic philosophy. I think it’s the sleeper of the field. Honda will come good. They’d rather die than not.

        1. As I said, I was referring to the livery. I actually like the simple aggressive aero design too. I wish nothing but the best for them as they are one of my favorite teams.

    7. Less than 20 days into their new partnership with Castrol… awkward turtle

    8. Hate to say it, as a McLaren fan for 25 years, but that paint scheme, with no title sponsor, looks like a backmarker team. Looks budget. Like it was done with a roll of tape. At least painting the model kit will be a snap for the kids.

      1. Funnily enough an ad for a Chinese model plane appeared in my browser right next to the article on the McLaren launch, it has a very similar paint scheme. :)


      2. I don’t understand how a big, big team like like McLaren can barely scrape in sponsors, smh. Go to Ferrari’s recent uploads regarding the sf70h, the videos end with a whopping 26 sponsors. I know Ferrari have a prestige about them, but it isn’t like they’ve been lighting up F1 in last ten years.

    9. Red bull didn’t have a much better day. I don’t see anyone saying they should leave Renault or that they are screwed. I don’t see anyone getting so emotional about that. It’s the first day of testing guys. If this form continues I’d be worried. But not yet

      1. I wish I had your thought process.
        Yea it’s the first day, but Honda admitted a few days ago changing engine concepts is risky. I think they know more than they are letting on.
        If they have more bad days and get little data, good luck trying to catch up with any other team other than Sauber.
        Not that it matters, but I’ve defended Honda for the last 2 years in spite of their endless excuses and rose colored glasses attitude. Not any more!
        If they screw up the pre-season again, my hope is Alonso walks. I simply cannot stand to witness another year like 2015.

      2. Yeah but Renault engines did over 150 laps today so plenty of data to push forward the engine development. Honda have one car with little running and nothing to compare it to

    10. It’s day one, SM said it, RB didn’t have it made today either and the Mclarens engine was in sade mode for some of the laps.

    11. McLaren should have gone all out orange and had done with It.

      1. I can’t believe that people are still suggesting new liveries. Does a completely orange car running in 19th and 20th position really help your cause?

    12. Honda is busy in manufacturing scooters in india rather than to bring technology to the people here they interested only in profits. Better honda fit that scooter engine in that mclaren and well problem solved more reliable and fuel efficient engine with no breakdown problems 🤣😜

    13. As Kimi would say “Bwoaah”

    14. There’s a fine line between arrogance and confidence – most of the top level drivers are full of themselves, it’s all part of the championship make-up (for a lot of them). I’m a huge Lewis Hamilton fan, love him on the track – but we’d never make for “drink and a cinema trip” buddies!

    Comments are closed.