Alonso's McLaren gushes liquid in breakdown during practice

"It was a pity for the fans that had come today to see me break down on the first lap".

Alonso said he would be open to offers for next year if by late summer he had not been convinced that McLaren-Honda could provide a winning vehicle.

The Spaniard's McLaren-Honda nightmare continued in Barcelona practice, when his engine spectacularly failed on the first lap.

"I was preparing myself yesterday for qualifying".

There were high-fives in the McLaren garage, which included Mansour Ojjeh, a 25 per cent stakeholder in McLaren, as Alonso delivered another reminder of his incredible ability.

"We will try to take the maximum points for the team". Alonso has already made a decision to try his luck at the Indianapolis 500 instead of the Monaco GP this month.

MONTMELO, Spain (AP) - Valtteri Bottas' hopes of adding to his maiden Formula One win ran into mechanical problems Saturday as Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest time ahead of qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The rest of the practice saw Mercedes register the top two times - with Ferrari's and Red Bull's combined four cars less than a second behind - under sunny skies in northeastern Spain following Thursday's showers.

Honda's F1 engine is said to be about 120bhp behind the pace-setting Mercedes and Ferrari units, which produce close to 1000bhp, and there are widespread rumours that Mercedes are to assist Honda with their engine technology in an attempt to help the Japanese company catch up.

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When asked if it was one of his best-ever qualifying laps, he replied: "Yeah probably".

His team-mate, Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne, scored the 13th time in both practice sessions.

Vettel wasn't pleased coming in behind the Mercedes, and put the burden on himself to get more out of his vehicle that has given Mercedes its first real challenge in years.

Alonso's deal with McLaren expires at the end of the year and it seems unlikely he will extend his torrid three-season stay with the British team.

"I don't know what Mercedes was up to".

But Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said: "We are not doing anything for Honda, that is the current status quo. It is a question of getting it right".

He was last on the timesheets and reported that the engine was even slower.

In FP2, the wind picked up and caused plenty of wobbly moments out on track, with Vettel and Verstappen going through the gravel.

Qualifying is later for Sunday's race.

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