Alonso stuns by earning seventh on Barcelona grid for McLaren

Hype Around Fernando Alonso's Indy 500 Bid Is Merited, Here's Why

Hype Around Fernando Alonso's Indy 500 Bid Is Merited, Here's Why

Alonso, who will skip the May 28 Monaco Grand Prix to compete in the Indy 500 on the same day in two weeks' time, had seized the headlines on Friday when his Honda-powered auto broke down at the start of practice.

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.

McLaren's team radio told him to "stop the auto, stop the auto, engine problem" as a pool of liquid dripped from the underside of the vehicle.

HAVE you seen Viki Odintcova, the sexy model said to be dating Formula One star Fernando Alonso?

On expiry of his contract by the end of 2017, the Spaniard said: "I am hopeful that things will improve, but from September or October I will be open to any kind of negotiation, whether with McLaren or any other team". "The engine blew up after 400 metres so I guess it was not ready for FP1".

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.

Despite his optimism of the front, the new event of Alonso further darkens his future at McLaren-Honda, while he did not finish a single race in the first four Global Positioning System of the season. With two wins in four races, Vettel leads the standings with 13 points more than Hamilton. He hasn't finished a race this season, and his McLaren broke down on the formation lap of the previous Russian GP.

And despite two weeks to work on the auto, McLaren has made no progress.

McLaren-Honda boss Zak Brown said he accepted Fernando Alonso's challenge to give him a race winning auto for next year, and had no concerns at him leaving the circuit to play tennis after another engine failure.

McLaren has allowed Alonso to miss the Monaco Grand Prix to compete at Indianapolis Motor Speedwa on May 28, a race which has two weeks' build-up including track time.

Bottas ran well through Friday's two practice sessions, clocking the second-fastest times behind Hamilton in both.

F1 leader Vettel also had a mishap early on, when what he suspected to be an issue with his gearbox forced him to stop coming out of pit lane. Why not? It's not like it's going to be fixed soon.

Max Verstappen, the 2016 victor at a record age of 18, and fellow Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo will start the race from fifth and sixth on the grid.

Practice will resume after lunch and again on Saturday before qualifying for Sunday's race.

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