WATCH: Fernando Alonso has a bad start to pre-season testing

F1 Winter Testing in Barcelona - Day One

It wasn't the best of starts for Fernando Alonso and McLaren during their pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Indeed, the Spaniard endured a torrid start to preparations for the new Formula One season, which begins with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne next month.

Alonso, a two-time Formula One champion, lost control at the last corner of the Circuit de Catalunya when his right rear wheel came off, leading the car to spin off the track in the process.

Fortunately, the 36-year-old, who renewed his contract to remain with the manufacturer last October, was not injured and was able to climb out of the car to inspect the damage before it was towed back to the garage.

Alonso had previously been on course to secure the fastest lap time of the day, before the incident happened.

McLaren are investigating the cause of the crash, but when Alonso returned to the pits holding a piece of the wheel assembly, it suggests that there had been a mechanical failure involved.

Alonso completed just the one lap during the winter testing event held at the Catalan circuit, but he and his McLaren team will be hoping for better fortunes when the forthcoming Formula One campaign gets underway late next month, ahead of what is sure to be another action-packed year of the franchise.

The 2017 season was certainly one to forget for the constructors and for Alonso, with most of the races finishing with a 'Did Not Finish' due to engine problems.

However, after striking a deal over the summer with a new supplier, the Spaniard was happy enough to commit to McLaren, hoping their fortunes would change.

But, it's not got off to the best start.

Elsewhere, current champion Lewis Hamilton will assume duties on Monday during the second day of practice, as he looks to go for a fifth Drivers' Championship.

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