Alonso demands quick reaction to power issues

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F1 Test, Barcelona, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Fernando Alonso has made it no secret who he and McLaren think are to blame for the team's current misery in testing. In a media meeting at the circuit, the double world champion blamed the Honda power unit for most of the team's issues.

"I don't think we are too far back in terms of chassis side," he said, when asked about his feelings about McLaren's new car.

"We have only one problem: that is the power unit. There is no reliability and there is no power. We are 30km/h down on the straight, every straight.

"I think we are 30 km/h down on every straight," he said. "When you are 30 km/h down on every straight, it is difficult also to have a feeling on the car. Everything feels good, but you don't know what is going to happen when you arrive at normal speed."

In spite of the frustration the springs from the current situation, Alonso still urged the entire team to unite, asking for a rapid reaction to get the team out of its troubles, and at least become a respectable contender.

"Probably this year is a bit more frustrating because the change of regulations and things like that, you have higher hopes when you think you can close that gap over the winter.

"Definitely we need to improve and we must improve. We are not completing our programme, we are not doing the laps we plan every morning. The situation is far from ideal. We are a big team.

"On the other hand it is only winter testing. I remember 2014, Red Bull were doing like seven laps in winter testing and won two or three Grands Prix that year, so let's say that the season is long enough that you can have time to react.

"We are a big team. When you think about McLaren you are afraid of them, of an opponent, because you know that McLaren will sort things quickly - this is what we need.

"We need a reaction from everyone, stay united, work close to each other - but definitely a big reaction that I expect immediately."

Alonso, just like Eric Boullier said earlier, voiced his concerns about the lost testing time this results in, putting the team behind schedule while all others learn more and more about their cars. As teams discover and resolve small chassis problems while doing mileage, McLaren sit in the garage with power unit issues.

"The oil tank was quite an amateur problem we had that day," he said. "From day one we keep unlocking a little bit the situation in terms of power and in terms of reliability.

"When you do more laps you discover other things. Temperature in the rear caliper or whatever, bodywork that is not properly tight.

"Things you normally discover on day or day two in winter testing. We do 40 laps every day, so we are like in day two of testing for everyone else.

"We are discovering those little things. There is nothing to worry for Australia I guess. We'll be fully ready to compete in a good level, the only question mark is how much power we will have."

Alonso said it was especially worrying that, while reliability is not up to par, the performance is not there either, giving the impression that no progress is being made at all.

"I think it is similar to last year to be honest," he said. "In 2015, probably we were even [further] behind than now.

At the end of the press meeting, when asked if Turn 3 at Circuit de Catalunya is now effectively flat out, he closed off by joking "Oh yeah, for us, not only Turn 3 [is flat out]," he smiled. "For us nearly all the corners are flat."