Fernando Alonso was pleased with how his "rollercoaster" final day of Formula 1 pre-season testing ended after recovering from four hours on the sidelines to finish second for McLaren in Barcelona.

Alonso came to a halt on only his seventh lap of the day after a turbocharger problem emerged on the Renault power unit in his McLaren MCL33 car, forcing him to park up at the side of the track.

The Spaniard returned to the track four hours later, and completed 93 laps in total that included a quick run in the final hour, lifting him to second in the final timesheets with a best lap time of 1:17.784.

"Today was a bit of a rollercoaster! This morning we had an engine issue which meant we couldn’t complete any of the morning programme, but the guys did a fantastic job once again to change everything on the car and get us ready as soon as possible," Alonso said.

“We had a very good afternoon, and compressed our full day’s schedule into the afternoon session. We managed to do everything we wanted and I’m quite happy with the result and the final day of testing.

“I think there’s more to come from the car in terms of performance and also of course with reliability, but now we have two important weeks back in the factory to prepare for the first race."

"We will see exactly where we are in Australia, when everyone is running with maximum performance, but I think it was a very productive two weeks of winter testing for us. We had a lot of new things to prove and test and now we have a couple of weeks to put everything in place.

“I’d like to say well done to the whole team for pushing hard, and now we’re all looking forward to going racing in Melbourne."

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier added: "I’m pleased that we’ve rounded off both today’s programme and the two weeks of pre-season testing on a positive and productive note.

“We suffered a turbo issue in the power unit early on in our morning programme, which we believe was linked to the chassis oil leak on Tuesday. We had put this turbo onto the car overnight after spotting something in the data on the current power unit during installation, and to save time with investigation elected to swap the two elements.

"Unfortunately, this one failed – although the two issues aren’t linked – and it will be sent back to Viry for further analysis and investigation. Nevertheless, the guys and girls in the garage did a phenomenal job to change this new configuration of power unit in four hours so that Fernando could return to the cockpit.

"We now will return to the factory armed with massive amounts of data to analyse before we head to Australia in two short weeks. We know we have things to work on, but we also know there’s definite potential in our package, and we’ll be working hard to maximise our reliability so that we have the chance to show our true performance in Melbourne."

The new F1 season begins on March 25 with the Australian Grand Prix.



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