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2018 F1

Alonso excited by ‘huge potential’ of McLaren-Renault MCL33

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Fernando Alonso spun off the Barcelona track on only his sixth lap at the first pre-season, the incident was not a strange experience for McLaren, but they are recover what was left with the rest of the day as Red Bull topped the timesheets.

Following first day of testing, Alonso’s states that, there is a huge potential on the McLaren-Renault team. Also he added that while McLaren’s morning incident was very public, other teams had much worse days.

When the source asked at his evening media session what thoughts when through his mind after the spin, Alonso smiled and said: “That it was a good day for you guys!

“I thought exactly that because this is a very, very small problem, but very graphic, very obvious. A car in the gravel makes a big thing, but there is six teams in the garage with the door closed, with the car in pieces — but there is no picture of that. So there are a lot of teams in trouble, big trouble, and for us with a wheel nut it will make the thing of the day. So I thought about all of you!”

“So far, so good. Obviously very early days but the car was running fine, the engine was running fine. I know a lot of people from Renault from my past, so 80 percent of the guys in the garage, I know them. I know how hard 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.

“Everything is running very smooth, quite good. A few things that we are trying to change and trying to adapt, but so far — on the engine side especially — extremely happy. I think there is a huge potential on the McLaren-Renault team.”

Following the last few season struggle, McLaren decided to cut their fatalities and join up with Renault for 2018 in expecting podium finishes, race wins and even world title, and while the sight of the Honda-powered Toro Rosso completing more than 100 trouble-free laps will not have been all that pleasing, they will not be panicking just yet.

“We are working hard and we have not set targets for specific race finishes, but we want to be competitive and that is our goal,” said Zak Brown, McLaren’s executive director.

“Whether that is one podium, five podiums, or no podiums, it will all depend on what the rest of the teams do. We expect to be racing at the front of the field.”

He added of Alonso’s spin: “There was no drama in the garage and everyone was quite relaxed and getting on with it. All the teams will have a variety of issues throughout testing and we are going to lose very little time so it is no big deal.

“This team is used to public pressure and having eyes on us. We enjoy that and we like to step up to the plate and thrive on the opportunity so we are not feeling any more added pressure than we already put on ourselves.”

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