The Formula 1 Gossip column
The latest gossip and speculation from around the sport
Last Updated: 22/02/19 5:28pm
McLaren have confirmed three crew members were treated after a fire broke out in their team garage during a filming day on Friday at Barcelona
Three McLaren mechanics have been treated for slight burns after a fire broke out in their garage in Barcelona this afternoon.— Philip Duncan (@PhilDuncanF1) February 22, 2019
McLaren spokesperson: "The fire was quickly extinguished by the team and circuit emergency services, and medical teams attended immediately in support."
Sky F1's new season promo!
Check it out!
McLaren and Toro Rosso agree James Key start date
And Toro Rosso appoint a new technical director...
Is this the Test One pecking order?
Alonso 'will be at Test Two'
Fernando Alonso will be in Barcelona next week, according to Gil de Ferran, but the McLaren sporting director hasn't confirmed whether the retired two-time world champion will be testing for the team.
"Fernando is part of the McLaren family," he told Sky F1. "I think that in itself is a great plus to the team. I think he might be here next week."
Gasly reflects on first test
...And no rest for Leclerc either
Honda have made 'big progress'
Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost says Honda have made "big progress" with their engines over the winter.
In the first media briefing of the season at F1 testing, he spoke optimistically about the Japanese manufacturer, who are now supplying the senior Red Bull team in addition to Toro Rosso.
"They have made big progress over the winter - from the reliability side as well as the performance side," Tost told reporters in Barcelona.
"It depends now how much the other power units were developed from the other competitors. I don't know yet.
"I expect that we will not need more than the three power units. If it's necessary we put in another one because it's for the development and the future, we're ready to go for this."
Can McLaren 'capitalise' on Renault improvements?
McLaren have been encouraged by Renault's claims that they have enjoyed their "best winter in five years" with their power unit.
McLaren are preparing for their second season with Renault engines, and are enjoying their suppliers' steady optimism after three failed years with Honda power.
"I would say that Renault are saying things differently this year to where they were last year," said McLaren CEO Zak Brown. "Last year they were very grounded about their engine and their deficit to the front.
"On that basis we've found them to be very honest in our communication, so it's encouraging to see them as positive as they are."
McLaren finished sixth last year after failing to produce a successful chassis to work alongside an improving but still off-the-pace Renault engine.
Brown continued: "I think we've done a better job working more closely with them to develop the car around the power unit. That was some of the issues last year.
"It seems like they're in a better spot, and we're certainly in a better position to capitalise."
McLaren still coy on Alonso
McLaren are still refusing to deny reports that Fernando Alonso - who left the team and F1 last season - will take part in their pre-season testing programme.
"Right now we're taking testing one day at a time, concentrating on our racing drivers," said team chief Zak Brown.
"Any time you go into pre-season testing and you're doing everything from reliability to performance, you have a set plan but then you take it a day at a time."
Get the dedicated Sky Sports F1 channel - the exclusive home of all live F1 next season - for £18 a month in HD with no contract. Get Sky Sports F1.