McLaren came back down to earth with a bump on Thursday in Barcelona as a coolant leak limited Fernando Alonso to just three laps of running to close out the first Formula 1 pre-season test.
Alonso had enjoyed a successful first day behind the wheel of the MP4-31 earlier this week, completing 119 laps on Tuesday with no issues to already log more mileage than he managed in all of the 2015 pre-season.
However, just two days after knocking back another set of rumors suggesting he could be set to quit McLaren and walk away from F1, Alonso was left frustrated once again as he completed just three laps in eight hours of running.
Teammate Jenson Button had been sidelined for much of Wednesday with a hydraulic issue, and although the team was able to fix this in time for Alonso to begin running on Thursday morning, the unrelated coolant leak brought his day to an early end.
“Today was disappointing after starting the first couple of days of the test so positively,” Alonso said.
“Still, it’s good news that although the issue we had on the car meant we had to miss a lot of today’s running, it’s not a major problem and will be fixed in time for next week’s test.”
In spite of this setback, Alonso was pleased with the mileage that McLaren had managed in Barcelona and is already looking ahead to the second test next week.
“Overall, we’ve managed a good number of laps during this test, which means we have a lot of data to analyse and learn from,” Alonso said.
“Over the weekend we’ll work hard to get everything prepared for next week, with the aim of getting as much time on track as possible.”