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More setbacks as coolant leak halts Alonso, McLaren

A coolant leak at the start of the day consigns Fernando Alonso and McLaren-Honda in the pit-lane for the remainder of it.
McLaren-Honda and Fernando Alonso's preparations for the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship have received another set-back after he managed barely any running on the final day of the first F1 test in Spain.

Having seemingly made a breakthrough with reliability on the first two days of action, with Alonso amassing
119 laps alone on Tuesday, McLaren has suffered problems since, with Jenson Button forced to curtail his running after 51 laps on Wednesday after development of a hydraulic issue.

However, worse would arise on Thursday as a coolant leak halted Alonso after three untimed laps, with the Honda-powered MP4-31 proceeding to spend the remainder of the day in the garage.

Unfortunately, the coolant leak we experienced on the car today was in a tricky position, which meant it took longer than usual to locate and fix,” said director of engineering Matt Morris. “It's always frustrating when a small issue hampers your running for much of a day, but thankfully it's relatively minor and we can now look to preparing the car for the second test on Tuesday. Testing is testing, and it gives us the opportunity to identify and work on reliability issues before we start the season.

“Over the course of the first four days in Barcelona we've done a good amount of running and already learned a lot about our package, which should stand us in good stead for next week. We're definitely ahead of where we were last year in terms of system checks and integration, so at the second test we'll be able to focus more on race simulations and setup, as well as characterising our package's performance.”

“We have a lot of data to go through over the weekend, and we look forward to getting back on track next Tuesday and continuing to get as much mileage under our belts as possible ahead of the first race in Australia.”

It means McLaren leaves the first test with significantly less mileage than its rivals – 257 laps -, though it remains a substantial improvement on last year when it managed just 79 laps.

Related Pictures

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Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MP4-31. 23.02.2016.
Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MP4-31. 23.02.2016.
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February 25, 2016 6:47 PM

It's official.... Both mclaren and Honda are delusional .... It's been nothing but a disaster from the beginning.... Why wasn't Arai fired last year already?? Why haven't they dropped the silly size zero concept??? Why can't they change the engine in the car within a day?? This team is like the faulty towers of F1.... I'm a massive Honda fan but even I can't defend this circus.... I will put money on it that there will not be a Honda engine in that mclaren next year, in fact I bet Ron Dennis is on the phone as we speak seeing what he can get.... My guess is that if Honda stay in F1 they might be supplying the sauber at best next year.... Christian Horner must be thanking his lucky stars as it looks like Renault have got it sorted finally... Very disappointed .... Expected so much more than this :(

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