Alonso says he has underperformed in 2015

McLaren driver Fernando Alonso says he has underperformed this season and reckons he needs to do a better job in 2016.

"I did some good laps here and there," Alonso said on Thursday in Brazil. "I remember Japan in Q2. The Austin race, I think it was good in difficult conditions, and I felt confident with the car and I could push.

"But apart from these two moments I don't think that I had the best season, so definitely I need to improve for next year.

"When you are running at the front and you have more motivation that helps, of course.

"But I'm on standby, let's say, in economy mode, to have full energy next year," added the Spaniard.

Alonso has endured a torrid season with McLaren-Honda as the British team has struggled with both pace and reliability in what was the Japanese manufacturer's return year in Formula 1.

The Spanish driver has scored just twice this year and lies 17th in the standings, right behind teammate Jenson Button.

But he remains convinced he is in the right place to return to winning ways.

"It has been hard," Alonso said. "We all want to be win, but it has been hard for some years now.

"The only way to beat Mercedes in the near future is to have a very strong project, a different kind of philosophy and understanding the new Formula 1 and I think I'm in the right place."

Honda progress real

Alonso believes Honda has made more progress than Renault and Ferrari did with their engines during the 2014 season.

"I know it has been a difficult season for us, a frustrating year for all of us because the expectations were very high, but at the same time the 2014 problems of Renault and Ferrari are more or less the same we are having now with Honda.

"So only Mercedes did things right in the first year. Our difficult season, compared to the 2014 numbers of Ferrari and Renault, are much greater.

"If we manage to have a normal winter and normal progress, next year we should be much better than any other manufacturer."

Honda philosophy a plus

The two-time champion, who left Ferrari at the end of 2014 to join McLaren, says Honda's "isolation" and its different approach will prove to be beneficial in the end.

"It can be a weakness or it can be the winning formula," Alonso said of Honda's approach. "I choose to believe this is the winning formula. If you copy what Mercedes do, you can be close to Mercedes, you can't be better than Mercedes.

"So being there, isolated, with another culture, with another discipline, with another ethic of work... It has been difficult this year because some of the processes have been slower than it could be, but some of the ideas we have are very unique in the paddock.

"So if we make them work it will be very difficult for anyone to copy."

Poor 2016 would be a shock

Despite its poor 2015, Alonso says he is expecting McLaren to be very competitive next year and that it would be surprising if that is not the case.

And he claims he is ready to wait for another year if 2016 proves hard as well.

"It would be sad news, because I think we have high hopes for next year, and I really trust the team and I really believe we have talented people and the resources and everything to do well," he said.

"So if we have a bad car in testing first it will be a surprise for me. But I don't think it would be a problem. It would be another year of learning and preparing for 2017.

"I'd be sad to do that from the beginning, but that would be a surprise for me if we are not very, very competitive next year because we have everything."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Brazilian GP
Track Interlagos
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams McLaren
Article type Breaking news