Fernando Alonso believes McLaren auto is 'right behind' Mercedes and Ferrari's

Even the most casual of race fans likely have noticed all the buzz around Formula One driver Fernando Alonso running in the Indianapolis 500, but unless they're specifically fans of F1, many might think his entry is being over-hyped.

One theory being looked at, however, is that the problem could be related to the last time the power unit was used - during qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix when Alonso stopped with an MGU-H problem.

Exactly four years on from his last victory, which he claimed at the same circuit, Alonso's home race weekend got off to a miserable start as his vehicle broke down after just three corners in FP1.

McLaren are ready to take remedial action by asking Mercedes for some assistance with their Honda engines. When we complete my full last lap in a Formula 1 auto which was on the Saturday in Russian Federation because on Sunday we didn't manage to complete the formation lap and here we could not manage to complete the out lap.

Teams showed off their updates to the cars in practice for the Spanish Grand Prix today, as well as refreshed paintwork that more visibly displays the drivers names and numbers.

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"I think it surprised everybody", said the Spaniard's former Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa, who qualified his Williams two places behind.

Despite McLaren and Honda having two weeks to find some desperately needed fixes, Alonso's vehicle spouted smoke and gushed fluid in a breakdown on the very first lap of practice on Friday.

"Yes, that is what is going to happen", said Alonso.

Alonso said he is eager to get in some more practice after passing the rookie orientation test for the Indy 500 last week.

Alonso qualified his McLaren-Honda in a season-high seventh position at the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday and enters the race with his best chance of points this year.

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Alonso is in the final season of a three-year contract with McLaren-Honda and smiled broadly at suggestions that he could leave to join Mercedes or Ferrari or Red Bull.

Both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have stressed that it will be the little things that determine the destiny of the 2017 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

The 2017 auto has failed to yield any points this season, leaving McLaren bottom of the team rankings.

"There is the opportunity this weekend to do a one-two and pull away from the Ferraris", Hamilton said.

Qualifying is later for Sunday's race.

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But with such a dedicated few years behind him with the team it seems he is slowly being broken thanks to never being able to race let alone win.

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