McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso has stated that he is patient when it comes to the new Honda powered MP4-30. The Spaniard completed just 6 laps on the opening day of winter testing in Jerez on Sunday.
The Spaniard carried out a number of single lap runs following a successful fire up of the Honda power unit in the morning. The team were forced to finish their day early after discovering a technical issue with the car that they were unable to resolve before the end of the day. The team will now spend the night pouring over the data gained from the running today.
Speaking following today’s running, Fernando Alonso stated:
‘Given the complexity of modern Formula 1 machinery, the sorts of issues we encountered today weren’t too surprising. They’re just the things you experience on the first day of a Formula 1 test. But it’s been a fantastic day for me: to have the privilege to drive the car for the first time – for the comeback of McLaren and Honda after 23 years – makes me feel extremely proud.’
The Spaniard went on to say:
‘Obviously, I don’t really have a feeling for the car yet – I only did a handful of laps, and most of those were at slow speed, conducting preliminary checks – so I need a bit more time to be able to speak accurately about it. But everything seems to be responding well, and showing us what we expected.’
We have a lot still to learn, but let’s not forget how tough it was for a lot of teams last year. It’ll be no different for us. Every lap we do, we learn something, so hopefully we’ll arrive in Australia with a good understanding of the car.’
So far, everything feels very exciting – there are a lot of positive emotions inside the garage for everybody, and I’m very happy to be part of this project.’
McLaren Honda Racing Director Eric Boullier stated:
‘Today was a challenging day, which was not surprising to us given that our car has been designed to a radical all-new size-zero philosophy. In fact, we’re still in the process of analysing this afternoon’s technical issues, systematically and methodically, in an effort to increase our mileage in the coming days.’
The Frenchman went on to say:
‘What’s particularly encouraging is the way that McLaren’s and Honda’s technicians and engineers are already working so well together - collaborating seamlessly in their shared ambition to nail a revolutionary new car’s inevitable developmental gremlins as soon as possible.’
He concluded by saying:
‘Tonight will be arduous and sleepless, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Bring it on!’
Honda R&D senior managing officer and chief officer of motorsport, Yasuhisa Arai stated:
'This is the first shakedown of our radically designed car, so we expected to encounter a few issues, and we look forward to doing longer runs in the near future.
Arai concluded by saying:
‘Finally, this is an exciting first day of a very exciting project. It’s great to be on the inside at last, rather than sitting in the stands!’
© Ben Johnston 2015