BARCELONA: Fernando Alonso did six laps of the Barcelona circuit before crashing into the gravel after a wheel came off his McLaren at the start of Formula One’s pre-season testing yesterday.
The former world champions, who are starting a new engine partnership with Renault after three troubled years with Honda, played down the incident.
“We had a wheel-nut issue, we’re fine,” executive director Zak Brown said, with Alonso going back out again before the lunch break for a further four laps.
“All the teams will have a variety of issues throughout testing, that’s exactly what it’s for. We’re going to lose very little time, no big deal at all.”
The right rear wheel came off Alonso’s car during the first 40 minutes of a chilly morning in Spain as teams took part in their first official test since November.
The double world champion, who gave the new papaya orange and blue car a trouble-free shakedown at the Navarra circuit in northern Spain on Friday, stepped out of the stranded car as marshals waved red flags to halt the session.