BARCELONA, Spain -- Fernando Alonso says McLaren's Honda power unit is the only problem the team has after another day of limited mileage during pre-season testing.
In three days of testing, Alonso has completed just 148 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya, one less than Mercedes managed between its two drivers on Wednesday alone. With just two days of testing left before the first race in Australia, Alonso said it was clear where the problem was.
"We have only one problem: that is the power unit," he said. "There is no reliability and there is no power. I think we are 30 km/h down on every straight. When you are 30 km/h down on every straight, it is difficult also to have a feeling on the car. Everything feels good, but when you arrive to normal speed you don't know what is going to happen.
"[Analysing] the chassis side is difficult because we are not pushing probably the speed that the others are doing because of a lack of power. The chassis everything feels good, everything feels under control. The car is responding well to changes and everything is working fine. I'm happy with the balance, I'm happy with how I attack the corner. I'm enjoying driving this car, so I don't think that we are too far back in terms of chassis side."
Honda has suffered mechanical and electrical problems with the power unit and discovered a design flaw with the oil tank on the first day. Combined with the usual setbacks in testing, Alonso said McLaren is now lagging well behind its rivals.
"Every lap we do we are improving the situation slowly," he said. "The oil tank was quite an amateur problem that we had that day and then from day one we keep unlocking a little bit the situation in terms of power and in terms of reliability. With more laps you discover other things; temperature in the rear caliper or bodywork that is not properly tight -- things that normally you discover in day one or day two of winter testing.
"As we do 40 laps every day we are in day two of testing and discovering those things. Nothing to worry for Australia, I guess, because the team will be ready to compete at a good level and the only question mark is how much power we will have."
Alonso said that as of Wednesday, Honda was actually down on power compared to last year but is confident more power would come for the Australia race-spec engine.
"This is not the Australia-spec engine but it's an evolution from what we had last week. For Australia we'll have a different evolution, so from that point of view there's still hope to gain some power and reliability with the final version. But last week's spec didn't deliver the results expected and this week's spec is also going bellow expectations. For Australia we'll have to hope for more, we have to be hopeful because the last two specs we worked with didn't match our expectations. We'll see.
"As of today we may have even less power than last year, but we're running with settings that are not even close to the ones we'll use in Australia, for different reasons, for different problems we have in the engine. The full power of our engine won't be seen until we all the problems we are experiencing are sorted."
Asked where exactly the Honda power unit was lacking, Alonso added: "I don't know, it's a question for Honda where they are lacking power. I am not an engineer or an engine designer yet, maybe in the future ... but I don't think it is a deployment issue because many straights here, so in one straight or another you deploy until the braking zone and you lose 30 or 40 km/h in every straight."