Alonso hopes Paul Ricard misery not "normality"

Fernando Alonso hopes McLaren's miserable French Grand Prix situation does not become the "normality" of its 2018 Formula 1 season.

In its worst weekend of a disappointing campaign so far, McLaren lost both cars in Q1 at Paul Ricard - with Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne starting 16th and 17th - and then spent the race near the back of the field.

Alonso was on course to finish last following a spin and a failed strategy when he stopped with a late suspension problem, while Vandoorne could only manage 12th.

Though Alonso said he was "confident" the coming weekend's Austrian GP would be better, he admitted McLaren could not afford for France to be the start of a trend.

"I think this was by far the worst performance of the year so I really hope that this is a one-off, that this is not normality," he said.

"From qualifying both cars out in Q1 and now both out of the points. We need to raise our level for Austria and Silverstone. It's only five days' time so we need to find solutions."

He remained hopeful about McLaren's future upgrade plans, but conceded that a form downturn at the start of F1's first triple-header of three races in as many weekends was troubling.

"Ideally you would like to have a little bit of time now and study the data a little bit and produce new bits for the car and maybe have a little bit of time to make a solution but there is no time and we will try to do our best," he said.

"I trust the team. I know there are some good things coming for the next races."

Asked by television crews if running last at Paul Ricard a week after winning the Le Mans 24 Hours was hard to accept and how he managed to remain outwardly positive, Alonso insisted he was still happy just to be in F1.

"I'd prefer to be here last than be watching television," he said. "I'm surprised how negative you are.

"We are just 20 drivers in the world doing this job. We come here and sometimes we are a little bit better, sometimes a little bit worse. 

"The question is how I manage to be positive, how I manage to smile, how I manage to breathe, to eat, to sleep... I manage very well. I feel very privileged."

McLaren admitted at Paul Ricard that it cannot see the aerodynamic problems it knows it has in the windtunnel.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event French GP
Track Circuit Paul Ricard
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams McLaren
Article type Breaking news