Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Albert Park, 2018

Exhaust problem in practice was no setback – Alonso

2018 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso says McLaren was able to make up the time it lost due to an exhaust problem on his car during the first practice session.

Neither McLaren driver set a time during the first hour of running at the Albert Park track. “We lost a little bit of time in FP1 with some issues,” Alonso explained. “We managed to recover everything in FP2.” The team also experienced problems with its exhaust during pre-season testing.

Charles Leclerc, Sauber, Albert Park, 2018
Australian Grand Prix practice in pictures
“Now we need to analyse everything and hopefully do the best package for tomorrow.”

Yesterday Alonso predicted the Australian Grand Prix weekend would be the team’s weakest showing the year, but he and team mate Stoffel Vandoorne ended both practice sessions inside the top 10.

“We will get better and better, that’s logical,” said Alonso. “We are the only team doing this fundamental change on the car with the power unit. So we will get better and better but hopefully we will also be competitive from day one here.”

Alonso expects Pirelli’s softer tyres will offer a range of strategic options for the race if conditions stay dry.

“All three tyres look quite similar in a way,” he said. “So I think it will be definitely some different strategies for different teams.”

“But I think the weather will be the biggest factor. Maybe rain tomorrow, maybe rain on Sunday and we don’t see any of the purple or yellow tyres.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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Posted on Categories 2018 Australian Grand Prix, 2018 F1 season

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  • 24 comments on “Exhaust problem in practice was no setback – Alonso”

    1. what does McLaren consider to be a setback nowadays?

      We are the only team doing this fundamental change on the car with the power unit. So we will get better and better but hopefully we will also be competitive from day one here.

      You sure about that?

      1. I can almost predict what he will say this time next year, and I’m not going to take that as gospal either.

        He’s being pressured by journalists and having to keep his chin-up during the coming season as test team again.

        1. To my opinion, mclaren problem is not from the engine the supplier had supplied to them, but actually is from they themselve. Its their mindset on how to setting the engine differently from other team who using renault too. And that cause them their own problem. Toro Rosso seems ok and less problem. Just saying btw.

      2. I guess for them not losing a whole session as well as having to write off one complete set of engine components is where their bar lies by now @johnmilk!

        You do wonder what McLaren are doing with their exhausts to make them a recurring issue – it also lost them quite a bit time in testing, didn’t it.

        1. @bascb what was it in testing? a 2 pound bolt? Should have went for a more expensive one, it happens to me all the time when I get the cheap lighting bulbs and have to replace them faster than I want to

      3. I think doing as badly as last year would be considered a setback by them. Instead they’re doing massively better so far.

        1. Not related to what we are discussing here though

          1. Really? It’s a direct answer to your question “what does McLaren consider to be a setback nowadays?”

            1. @krommenaas when they encounter, well what is the word, setbacks? During practice sessions.

              My question is what do they consider to be a setback when a setback disrupts their program

              the word lost all meaning

            2. So your question was rhetorical, is what you’re saying? That’s a bit dramatic I think, losing about 10-15 laps in FP1 (they did 31, most teams did 40-50) is no big deal. More importantly they’re in the top 10.

            3. @krommenaas yes, rhetoric, a bit sarcastic and a slight dig at McLaren too

              agree with the rest of your statement btw

    2. We are the only team doing this fundamental change on the car with the power unit

      Toro Rosso? They seem to be holding up quite well

      1. Serious question because I missed it, did Torro Rosso also have to change their chassis and gearbox length due to the PU change?
        Interesting that many posters here were making a big deal of McLaren/Alonso claiming they had the ‘best chassis’ last year, as if it was going to be identical this year. We keep reading McLaren have gone ‘high risk’ again.

        1. Are you seriously suggesting that it was harder for McLaren to change the PU than it was for Toro Rosso?

          No more escuses (not my words)

          1. @johnmilk

            No Im suggesting Alonso is alluding to they have made more sacrifices. You’re the one who opened this thread by questioning him. Maybe we could listen to all of the other interviews from ‘the pen’ at Albert Park to get a better gist of things.

            Stop starting every reply to me with ‘are you seriously suggesting’ you sound like a feminist. A teenage one at that.

            1. Serious question because I missed it, did Torro Rosso also have to change their chassis and gearbox length due to the PU change?

              What does this mean than? They “traded” PUs of course they would have to adjust, both of them, equally as hard

              Stop starting every reply to me with ‘are you seriously suggesting’ you sound like a feminist. A teenage one at that.

              You don’t have to take it personally, and maybe I’m a teenage feminist. Hamilton asked for more diversity and I’m taking that role, another reason for celebration, just taking that one for the team

              btw is this your tag @bigjoe? You know, if you tag me in comments and you are not logged in the notification doesn’t appear. There being helpful again

            2. @johnmilk

              I don’t take it personally I’m laid back, but it suggests you’re getting worked up thinking I’m taking these driver’s interviews ‘seriously’

              This is all speculation and Alonso could have made an error in forgetting about Torro Rosso or maybe he just doesnt want to talk or aknowledge anyone else.
              But youre the one who bought it up for discussion so I presented discussion. Alonso finished by saying ‘so we will get better and better’ implying they were the only ones with the biggest gains to be made so maybe in his mind from this particular interview he has just ruled out Torro Rosso as doesnt expect them to get better.
              He seems to predominantly talk up McLaren and not talk about anyone else so I didnt even bat an eyelid at his reply to the reporter.
              A significant improvement from Honda will see them jump more than just McLaren so maybe then he’ll recognize them.

            3. Stop starting every reply to me with ‘are you seriously suggesting’ you sound like a feminist. A teenage one at that.

              with this phrasing, it did sound like you did

              Granted Toro Rosso shouldn’t be in the same league as McLaren, but he shouldn’t be disregarding competition, especially after the last 3 years. In a couple of races we will see where they stand. If he meant what you are saying, for McLaren saké (got it?) hopefully he will be right (but wouldn’t it be fun if…)

        2. Yes, they DID have to change everything under the hood including the gearbox since the honda now follows Mercedes’ lead with the engine layout, whereas Renault’s setup meant having the turbo and everything behind the engine @big joe.

        3. McLaren never made that claim, that is pure mythology.
          Alonso did say it one time, when ranting against Honda.

          1. @krommenaas

            Agreed. Alonso has done nothing other than trying to keep his and his team’s spirits up driving barely any better than the 5th best car for the last 10 years. He did the same at Ferrari, yet the myths and bashing from the usual suspects continued.
            ‘not a team player’ ‘disrupts teams’ ‘cripples his team mates’

            Meanwhilst Lewis Hamilton plays the race card ‘is it cause Im black’ ‘blacks dont crack’

    3. “We are the only team doing this fundamental change on the car with the power unit. So we will get better and better but hopefully we will also be competitive from day one here.

      What about Torro Rosso Fernando?

      They seem to be doing reasonably well so far, I really hope that Alonso get´s some good results this year, his self esteem if nothing else but Maclaren are looking like they have improved from disaster to embarrassing.

      I hope that they will make me eat my words as a fast and reliable maclaren will be a pleasant surprise in an otherwise predictable season.

    4. Well I’m willing to give Fernando the benefit of the doubt here with regards to forgetting that STR are also going through a fundamental change.

      In light of all the issues Mclaren are (still) having, Fernando has been very positive, I mean, what else can we expect from him?

    Comments are closed.