McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has stressed that Fernando Alonso remains happy at the team despite some struggles through Formula 1 pre-season testing in Barcelona, saying the Spaniard is in a "different mindset" this year.

Alonso recorded the third-fastest time of the winter for McLaren as the team started its new partnership with engine supplier Renault, only to suffer a number of on-track stoppages across the course of the two weeks of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Alonso was sidelined on his seventh lap of the day on Friday, costing him four hours of running as McLaren slumped to the bottom of the mileage count.

The two-time F1 world champion was known to be disgruntled through McLaren's struggles with Honda over the last three years, with the early issues for Renault sparking concern about his happiness.

However, Boullier knocked back any suggestions that Alonso was unsettled at McLaren, and added he could tell a noticeable difference in his approach for 2018.

"He is happy yes. Obviously he’s a competitor so he wants the best of the best and he wants more always," Boullier said.

"Even if you asked Lewis Hamilton 'are you happy?’ he will tell you: 'No I need this, I need that, I want this’, they always want more.

"Alonso is in different mindset this year. You may have seen actually spending a lot of time here even when not driving the car, so he’s quite interested and supportive of what we’re doing.

"I’m sure he’s happy now."

Asked about Alonso's expectations about the new car, Boullier said: "He’s quite happy with the car and the car balance. There is some suspension work to be done, to work and understand the car, but he’s quite happy with the balance of the car."


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