MONTMELO, Spain – Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (McLaren) had an inauspicious beginning to the Formula One preseason on Monday due to a defective lug nut that made him lose a wheel and kept him in the garage for nearly the entire morning.
Rain and cold, meanwhile, put a damper on the afternoon session for the 13 drivers taking part in the testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Alonso’s right rear wheel came off just 45 minutes into the first session and though mechanics fixed the problem, he lapped the circuit only four more times after the mishap, for a total of 10 laps.
It took McLaren three hours to fix Alonso’s car.
The reigning F1 world champion, Briton Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), completed 25 laps during the abbreviated afternoon session.
The day’s best time was posted in the morning by Australian Red Bull driver, who completed a lap in 1:20.179, 0.17 second faster than Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas of Finland.
Bottas’ compatriot Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) was third, 0.327 seconds slower than the Mercedes driver.