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Alonso crashes McLaren 45 minutes into F1 winter testing

IANS | Montmelo (Barcelona) |

Spanish Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of team McLaren got off to an unlucky start to the pre-season on Monday, skidding into the gravel after his right rear wheel came off just 45 minutes into the first day of winter testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.

The red flag was raised after the crash, suspending the race until the Spaniard’s papaya orange and blue MCL33 car was dislodged, reports Efe.

“We’ll be back out on track soon — just need to remove that pesky gravel,” Mclaren said on its official Twitter page, along with a photo of the 36-year-old driver.

Alonso had been off to a promising start before the crash, completing six laps with a fastest time of one minute and 24.202 seconds.

Later, the cause of the crash was reportedly attributed to a wheel-nut problem by McLaren’s Executive Director Zak Brown during a press conference.