Alonso not expecting any upsets in Monaco GP
Fernando Alonso says there won't be any surprises in the Monaco Grand Prix, despite the one-off nature of the track taking the emphasis off engine performance.
The Spaniard expects Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull to dominate qualifying and the race, pointing to recent precedents.
"There are not many surprises here. It's never a place that we had a midfield team winning a race or a small team winning a race, or doing the pole position," said Alonso.
"There's always a lot of expectations in Monaco, but then there's a Red Bull, Mercedes or Ferrari on pole position, and three of these six drivers are on the podium in the last editions.
"So I think it's going to be quite similar this year again.
"I think it's quite difficult to make a surprise, but it's quite easy to make a mistake. So it's a weekend that's important in all the aspects, to execute it well."
Nevertheless, Alonso remains confident that McLaren can make Q3 – even suggesting that the Woking team can target fifth place.
"This is a race that 99% is on Saturday. I think last year the car was quite strong here. Stoffel was P6 in Q1, P7 in Q2. So I think the P7 was possible last year," added Alonso, who skipped the race to compete in the Indianapolis 500.
"Around P5 to P10 should be our target, to be in Q3 with both cars will be I think the target this weekend, but it's difficult to predict right now."
Alonso also expects laptimes to be much faster than on his last visit to the principality.
"Definitely it's going to be a big step, because 2016 the pole position was 1m15s or something like that, I looked today.
"We will run significantly quicker than that time. So it's a step of two years, and maybe 4-5 seconds in terms of lap time for me. It will be great, as long as you go forward and faster you enjoy the laps."
Alonso says that further updates added to the package introduced in Barcelona will add some performance.
"There have been a few positive days of testing in Barcelona after the race, in those tests I think we identified other areas of improvement, and there are a couple of updates here and there will come more in the next races.
"I think we are in a good moment of the year in terms of understanding the car, in terms of improving the weak areas that we as I said identified early on in Bahrain, in China, and we confirmed in the Barcelona test as well.
"I think we are improving those areas, every race, and we are feeling more and more competitive, definitely in the right direction.
"The momentum that the team has right now, I'm quite happy and quite positive in the next couple of races to find a lot of performance thanks to these improvements and these areas that have been reinforced."
Monaco GP: Wednesday's press conference
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