All eyes on McLaren, a year on from test nightmare

by Steven Clarke March 2, 2018, 1:05
All eyes on McLaren, a year on from test nightmare

Alonso's McLaren was missing its right-rear wheel, and the red flags were deployed with the Spaniard having completed only six laps. "The vehicle certainly looks very neat and well thought-out, and I think the new colour looks really great; really eye-catching".

"Everything is running very smooth, quite good".

"All the teams will have a variety of issues throughout testing, that's exactly what it's for", added the American.

The incident prevented McLaren from getting close to achieving its target of completing 100 laps on the opening day, but Alonso did not seem too fussed by disruption.

He was initially ranked fifth but his hottest lap was scrubbed off for cutting the final chicane.

"I know how hard they work, I know them, I know how good they work and how much attention they pay to driveability, to performance of the engine, so every nice was a good chat with them - both at the filming day and also here".

"So far, so good", said the double world champion, whose team are expected to be far more competitive since the switch to Renault engines. Talking about the new livery, Executive Director Zak Brown said, "Our return to a papaya orange livery for this year wasn't simply an emotional decision; it demonstrates that we are listening to our fans, building deeper engagement with them and the Formula 1 community as a whole". A few things that we are trying to change and trying to adapt, but so far - on the engine side especially - extremely happy. For those not in the know, this particular livery draws inspiration from the brand's very first race vehicle that also had the same color scheme fifty years ago.

McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier paid tribute to the work put in at McLaren to get the auto designed and built in a timeframe significantly limited by the late decision to switch to Renault power. "A auto in the gravel makes a big thing".

The Sky Sports F1 Digital team will be providing live commentary from dawn until dusk for all days of winter testing while Sky Sports News will also deliver live updates from trackside. "So I think everything is quite optimistic".

"The first thing I thought when we had the wheel nut issue was that it was a good day for the media", jibed Alonso.

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