McLaren has been plagued by issues across the two four-day tests and, while their rivals have been clocking laps by completing multiple race and qualifying simulations, McLaren-Honda has been dealing with various failures within the power unit.
"After finishing seven days of winter testing, we now have good insights into how the vehicle and power unit function as a whole package, and we'll continue to run through our testing programme tomorrow and make up for lost time". From the analysis we can do compared to the other cars, around the corners we don't lose time in nearly all corners, but we're 30 /40 kph down in every single straight. That's the best way to feel a Formula One auto, so it's fun to be free to attack and all that is missing is going down the straights at the same speed as the others. "Everything feels good, but when you arrive to normal speed, you'll know what is going to happen". They are not pushing the speed that others are doing because of a lack of power. "I will not stop racing without a good result and one I deserve". But the chassis feels good, it is responding well to changes and I am happy with the balance and how it attacks the corners. If everything goes in the wrong direction, I will attack next year.
"I don't think we are too far back with the chassis, we have only one problem which is the power unit", Alonso told reporters. The full power of our engine won't be seen until we all the problems we are experiencing are sorted.
McLaren-Honda identified an electrical problem, which also sidelined the Belgian racer for the final hour of testing. We've had some problems and it's far from an ideal situation, but we're aware of it and we're working very hard to make sure we make big improvements before we go to Melbourne. "So definitely a little bit behind schedule, in terms of reliability, in terms of performance, but this is winter testing and this is what this is all about". You always learn from every lap you complete. "The team are all ready to win except Honda".
Alonso said that as of Wednesday, Honda was actually down on power compared to previous year but is confident more power would come for the Australia race-spec engine. We're hoping to get some solid track time as it'll be our last chance before Australia.
Now a week later, according to ESPN the engine problem still remains.
"It's hard to know exactly where our pace is". As for the first question, no, this is not the Australia-spec engine but it's an evolution from what we had last week.