Fernando Alonso’s Car Lets Him Down. Again.

Note to McLaren: This is getting ridiculous.

At the first practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda did what it does best. Less than 15 minutes into the session, Alonso’s McLaren went from race car to a steaming pile of disappointment. Again.

Coming through turn three, on what was his third lap of the day, he got a call over the radio. The team were frantically telling him to stop the car. Alonso brought the car to screeching halt just off track, Steam and smoke could be seen venting from every opening in the bodywork around the engine. 

As a visibly dejected Alonso was climbing out, the car’s fluid’s were running out on to to the ground. After the track workers hoisted the car up to haul it to safety, the back end dipped down as it was being moved. Quite literally the largest amount of fluid I’ve ever seen come out of an F1 car poured out from the floor and engine bay. I cringed, knowing what that meant.  

In the lead-up to the Spanish Grand Prix, Alonso was hopeful that this would be the weekend Honda got their act together. 

Nope. Well, not yet. Alonso did get back out on track with an hour to go. In the second practice session. Maybe the rest of the weekend will be without incident. Maybe Alonso will actually see the checkered flag on Sunday. His teammate, Stoffel Vandoorne, had a trouble-free day, so there is hope. But hope might not be enough.

Alonso has said many times that he is not under contract with anyone for next season. He’s said that he’ll make up his mind to stay at McLaren, or go elsewhere, at the end of the summer. One gets the feeling that the decision to leave has already been made. 

For now, the struggle continues.