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Alonso describes crash as 'small problem but very graphic'

©McLaren

Fernando Alonso downplayed the off-track excursion which deprived the McLaren driver of three hours of running in Barcelona's first morning session.

The Spaniard was caught out by a wheel-nut failure which pitched his car into the gravel trap and left him stranded.

McLaren brought the MCL33 back to its garage for a thorough examination and a few minor repairs before Alonso resumed testing just before the session's lunch break.

The 36-year-old insisted the failure looked spectacular but stemmed from a very minor problem which he believed the media would feed on.

"It was a good day for you guys," joked Alonso as his dealt with reporters.

"This is a very, very small problem, but very graphic and very obvious," he told the media.

"A car in the gravel makes a big thing, but there were six teams in the garage with the door closed, with the car in pieces – but there is no picture of that.

"So there are a lot of teams in trouble, big trouble, and for us with a wheel nut it will make the thing of the day. I thought about all of you!"

Alonso insisted the incident was not overly detrimental to McLaren's test programme which concluded with 48 laps on the charts for the Woking-based outfit.

"We didn’t plan to run in the morning much, we were on a different programme,” he said.

"When we had that issue we reversed the programme, we didn’t have as big a stop for lunch that we planned.

All in all, Alonso deemed himself satisfied with his first day of work behind the wheel of the new MCL33, both in terms of the car's potential and performance.

"We had a normal day in the afternoon, I’m the one who did the most laps in the afternoon. Others had a bit too many issues but [for us] it’s a very good start.

“The car felt very good here, good potential, also I think the performance side it is very early to say but everything seems to be in line with our expectations and the wind tunnel and the data we had before coming to the team.

"I think everything is quite optimistic."

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