Fernando Alonso’s beleaguered McLaren-Honda Formula One car didn’t even make it through its own out-lap during Free Practice 1 for the Spanish Grand Prix. So, Alonso left his home race weekend at the track entirely to go play some paddle. Why not? It’s not like it’s going to be fixed soon.
Alonso’s car promptly overheated heading into turn 3 of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and a massive leak caused the car to snap out from underneath him. The car went out in a huge cloud of smoke, and it just kept dumping fluids as recovery workers tried to lift the dead McLaren out of the way.
The oil leak was the cause of the failure, Honda told Motorsport.com, however, they were still investigating the exact cause of the leak and failure at the time.
So, why bother sitting around the paddock and moping? Fernando Alonso left instead to go play some paddle, a racquet sport similar to tennis.
This is not unlike Alonso’s teammate Stoffel Vandoorne’s decision to hit the treadmill during the race when his McLaren blew up in Bahrain. Clearly, the McLaren drivers like to stay active. You’d think they’d have plenty of opportunities in the car, but not this year on this team.
Fernando’s power unit was changed back to a previous “fixed” unit for Free Practice 2. That session went slightly better, with the car actually working that time. Sort of: