Alonso stuns by earning seventh on Barcelona grid for McLaren

Doyle BarkerMay 16, 2017

"They've changed so many power units in these first races that to be now in P7, to be tomorrow on the grid around the cars that we should be fighting for the top positions, I think it will be a nice boost for all the guys".

McLaren-Honda F1 driver and two-time series champion Fernando Alonso says he has no regrets about sitting out the forthcoming Monaco Grand Prix.

He said he hoped that the engine would prove reliable in the race - the reverse of what has happened to him at previous grands prix this year.

McLaren's team radio told Alonso to "stop the vehicle, stop the auto, engine problem" as yellowish liquid dripped from the underside.

Bottas ran well through Friday's two practice sessions, clocking the second-fastest times behind Hamilton in both.

Alonso's auto was lifted onto a recovery truck with oil and water pouring out from the back. He endured the embarrassment of having to abandon the Russian GP last round when his auto broke down on the formation lap. Friday was a hard day also with another failure so you know, it's not that you go tomorrow and you are 100 per cent confident but I'm pretty sure that we keep learning with the things which are happening to the vehicle so at least I have a good feeling for tomorrow.

"I think it surprised everybody", said the Spaniard's former Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa, who qualified his Williams two places behind.

Only the previous day, the 35-year-old said he would only stay with the team if they gave him a vehicle capable of fighting for wins.

Mechanics were called to roll the McLaren back to the pits after Alonso was sent into a spin by a huge engine failure on his first practice lap.

Alonso said: "The vehicle felt quite different, running this asymmetric set-up feels not normal to drive so you need to adjust with your mind-set going into the run and into the first corner".

"Yes, that is what is going to happen", said Alonso. He didn't finish any of the four races, and hit a new low at the Russian GP when his McLaren broke down on the formation lap.

But in what is now his third season with McLaren, Alonso has failed to score a single podium position. "It was tricky for us", Hamilton said.

Practice will resume after lunch and again on Saturday before qualifying for Sunday's race.

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