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2015-02-04 14:06

McLAREN WOES IN JEREZ: McLaren's Fernando Alonso managed 32 laps before an engine issue ended his test session at the Jerez circuit in Spain. Image: AP/ Miguel Morenatti

ALAN BALDWIN

JEREZ, Spain - McLaren's new Honda-powered car showed progress at last on Tuesday (Feb 3) with Fernando Alonso completing 32 laps before an engine problem forced an early end to the penultimate day of Formula 1 testing at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain.

Before that Alonso and team mate Jenson Button had managed only six laps each in the MP4-30 turbo/hybrid car over the opening two days of the first pre-season test.

'LOSS OF PRESSURE'

The team said on its Twitter feed: "We've had a loss of cooling-water pressure and have removed the power unit for inspection." The team missed the final three hours of Tuesday's session.

McLaren has a new partnership with Honda, the Japanese automakerr which powered it to titles in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, and is returning after leaving the sport in 2008 after two decades with Mercedes.

Alonso, who had one acrimonious year with McLaren in 2007 alongside current champion Lewis Hamilton, has joined from Ferrari.

'IT'S GOING TO BE TRICKY'

McLaren and Alonso warned before the test that there would be problems with bedding-in the new V6 - and the forecast was correct. The number of laps completed on Tuesday morning did at least show that the problems that sidelined Button on Monday (Feb 2) had been addressed.

Button, who will be at the wheel for the final day today (Wed Feb 4) had said on Monday evening: "We expected it to be difficult. I'm sure the next two days won't be plain-sailing either… It's going to be tricky. It's a very complicated power unit, it's not as straightforward as the old V8 or V10. So it takes a little bit of time."

Mercedes, which dominated 2014 with its engine taking Hamilton to his second title, continued to run perfectly after completing more laps than any rival.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.

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Read more on:    mercedes  |  mclaren  |  jenson button  |  spain  |  jerez  |  motorsport  |  formula 1

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