Alonso’s ‘GPS’ race sense praised by McLaren

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has praised Fernando Alonso’s ‘unbelievable’ race craft – and suggested the Spaniard has a ‘GPS’ sense of knowing exactly what is going on in battle.

Alonso’s ‘GPS’ race sense praised by McLaren
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31 and team-mate Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-31
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31 and team-mate Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-31
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31

Although Alonso has not yet achieved the results he had hoped for after returning to McLaren, he has been encouraged by the progress made this season and believes there is even more to come in 2017.

For Boullier, who has played a key role in restructuring the McLaren organisation as it plots its path back to the front of the grid, Alonso’s all-round driving ability is one of the most crucial assets at the team's disposal.

“He is a complete driver,” said Boullier in an interview with Motorsport.com.

“He is fast on one lap. He is good enough to motivate the team, drive the team upwards – and his racecraft is unbelievable. In the race, he has a GPS head and knows exactly what is going on.”

Wanting more

Boullier is well aware that there have been times when Alonso’s frustrations at the lack of competitiveness have boiled over, which contributed to speculation that he could walk away from the team.

However, such anger is fuelled by the Spaniard’s competitive streak, and Boullier says he too shares the desire for the team to do better.

“You cannot expect him to be happy when you have one of the best drivers in the world and he is such a strong competitor,” explained Boullier. “I am not happy as well – so it is the same.

“I am here to race and win, and try to win. I want to have the chance to try to win, like Fernando.”

When asked if he ever feared that Alonso would ever quit McLaren before his three-year contract ran out, Boullier said: “No. Because it doesn’t work like this.

"He joined us because he believed in the project, and that is the most important thing.”

Interview by Jacobo Vega

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