Barcelona loves Fernando Alonso and the McLaren driver loves his fans, however the latest Honda woes look likely to put a dampener on McLaren's weekend in Spain. When the cars left the pit lane for the first official practice session at Barcelona Fernando Alonso will have been full of confidence following his stunning IndyCar debut last week. Racing in Formula One in front of his home crowd for the final time before heading over to the US of A for his much publicised Indy 500 debut, Alonso and Spain's hopes lasted exactly three corners before yet another catastrophic failure of the Honda Power Unit in the back of his bright Orange McLaren car called time on it's useful shelf life, leaving team and driver bewildered at the lack of both reliability and performance from the once great engine builders. However disappointed he might have been due to the latest in a long line of Honda embarrassments, Alonso was keen to see the positives from his downtime in Barcelona “Obviously, it’s not an ideal start to the weekend as we completely missed the first practice session because of an engine problem" he said. "At least I managed to get some training done – when I heard I had two hours before the next commitment I decided to do just that. I’ve had very little time in the last few weeks to train, and my dedication is still 100 per cent on my fitness and my preparation". The difficult start to the weekend didn't end with the smoky exit from FP1 either, with further work on bedding in the new unit during second practice again delaying McLaren and Alonso's preparation out on track: “The poor show in the afternoon session was due to the fact that first of all, you need to calibrate the engine when you put in a new power unit, so in the first couple of runs the power was a little bit inconsistent. We ran out of time, so we put on a new set of tyres even though not everything was calibrated. Towards the end of the session, when we put in more fuel and we were running in similar conditions to everyone else, we were doing more or less the lap time we were expecting, close to our main competitors for the race. “I feel confident that tomorrow, when we’ll put everything together, we’ll be in a more or less competitive position and hopefully we can be close to the others.” On the part of the Honda side of the McLaren garage, Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda R&D Co. Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer was understandably disappointed by the outcome of the opening day of the race weekend: “Today was unfortunately a tough day for Fernando at his home grand prix. Shortly after exiting the garage in FP1 a mechanical issue caused an oil leak forcing him to stop out on track. We opted to change the PU before the start of FP2, and we are still investigating the root cause of the problem. The team worked incredibly hard to get him back out on track and maximise data collection for tomorrow’s FP3 and qualifying" With a considerable lack of performance in comparison to it's Formula One rivals coupled with quite simply shocking reliability, Honda and McLaren still have a very long and difficult road ahead of them if they wish to return to the top of the current Grand Prix grid and give one of the most talented racing drivers of his generation one final chance to shoot for Formula One glory. Free Practice Three and Qualifying take place tomorrow. Check out the Formula One sub forum here at RaceDepartment for all the latest Grand Prix news and community discussions. Are you surprised to see the Honda struggle continuing at Barcelona? Can team and engine manufacturer turn around the fortunes before seasons end? Can Alonso win another Grand Prix before he finally hangs up his helmet for good? Let us know in the comments section below!