Alonso sets October deadline for McLaren to start winning

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McLaren executive director Zak Brown said his team felt "disbelief" when Fernando Alonso suffered his engine failure on his first lap of Formula 1 practice at the Spanish Grand Prix. The F1 race will be held on Sunday.

"My intention or first priority is to race next year here", he said.

The engine of his MCL32 let out a lot of oil before returning the soul in a thick cloud of smoke, as he began his first lap on the track.

Alonso said the giddy heights of seventh on the grid had not made him regret in any way his decision to miss Monaco, where overtaking is extremely hard and points would be a definite possibility from such a position.

Alonso said: "The auto felt quite different, running this asymmetric set-up feels not normal to drive so you need to adjust with your mind-set going into the run and into the first corner".

Barcelona-Catalunya racetrack, Montmelo Spain - 13/05/17 - McLaren's Fernando Alonso gestures after the qualifying session.

"I am happy with the team but we are not winning", he said.

Alonso's auto was lifted onto a recovery truck with oil and water pouring out from the back.

"It's tough, but tougher for McLaren, who bring updates trying to find a millisecond here and there and we can not even run".

McLaren's team radio told Alonso to "stop the vehicle, stop the auto, engine problem" as yellowish liquid dripped from the underside.

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.

McLaren are yet to score a point in four races.

Alonso only made it as far as the exit of Turn 2 on his first lap of the day when the rear tires locked and he was pitched into a spin, ending his running in the opening session.

"Two intense weeks ahead but very much looking forward to that". Alonso has already chose to try his luck at the Indianapolis 500 instead of the Monaco GP.

Lewis Hamilton, who finished only fourth at the last round in Russian Federation and who trails Vettel by 13 points, led from team-mate Valtteri Bottas in both practice sessions.

Ferrari pair Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were third and fourth, about a second slower than Hamilton. Shortly after exiting the garage in FP1 a mechanical issue caused an oil leak forcing him to stop out on track.