Alonso's McLaren gushes liquid in breakdown during practice
May 13, 2017, 02:00
The Spaniard who will skip the next Grand Prix in Monaco to participate in the 500-mile Indianapolis with a McLaren-Honda-Andretti auto, remains determined to race in F1 in 2018 despite his current ordeal.
Alonso's home fans had barely settled in their seats for practice at the Spanish Grand Prix before his car's Honda engine blew in a mess of smoke and oil.
Alonso left the circuit after his break down, heading back to his hotel where he played a bit of tennis. In that time he has travelled to America to visit the IndyCar paddock in Alabama and conduct his highly-publicised test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as contesting F1 race weekends in Bahrain, Russia and now Spain.
While Alonso gave McLaren his ultimatum, Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson expressed his concern over his team's decision for next year to use the same Honda engine that has plagued McLaren.
"Yes, that is what is going to happen", said Alonso.
But in what is now his third season with McLaren, Alonso has failed to score a single podium position. If, before September or October, l see a possibility that we are in a position to win in 2018, l will be more than happy to stay with the team.
"I didn't want to spend the morning on the sofa watching television".
"I don't know if reliability is getting worse because we haven't had much reliability yet". He hasn't finished a race this season, and his McLaren broke down on the formation lap of the previous Russian GP. The auto went out in a huge cloud of smoke, and it just kept dumping fluids as recovery workers tried to lift the dead McLaren out of the way.
"My intention or first priority is to race here", Alonso ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.
The latest blow comes a day after Alonso issued an ultimatum: Either McLaren gives him a competitive auto by October or he will look to change teams or consider leaving F1. Lewis Hamilton clocked a fastest lap of 1 minute, 21.521 seconds, with Vatteri Bottas only 0.029 seconds slower.
Even the most casual of race fans likely have noticed all the buzz around Formula One driver Fernando Alonso running in the Indianapolis 500, but unless they're specifically fans of F1, many might think his entry is being over-hyped. Rumor has it that he could return to Renault, with which he won his two world championships over a decade ago, or that he could take Kimi Raikkonen's place alongside Sebastian Vettel back at Ferrari again.
"But you then can't cry over spilt milk, so [it was about] quickly getting to turning your attention to Stoffel [Vandoorne's] vehicle and seeing what we learn there".
A notably frustrated Alonso spent a few moments looking at the rear of his MCL32, which had fluid pouring from it.
Practice will resume on Saturday before qualifying for Sunday's race.
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