Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global
Breaking news

McLaren chassis could be third-best in F1 - Alonso

McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso believes his team could be "right behind" leading outfits Mercedes and Ferrari on chassis, on evidence from his performance in Spanish GP qualifying.

Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32

Alonso, who is yet to score points this season, will line up seventh on the grid after a standout performance on Saturday, as he finished best of the rest behind the three big teams Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull in qualifying.

And with the Honda power unit's current woes well-documented, the Spaniard suggested in Barcelona that McLaren's chassis could be third-best on the grid.

"We're still nearly two seconds from pole position, so still a big gap," Alonso said. "We know how much we are losing from the power unit, so I think from the chassis side, we more or less confirmed what we thought at the beginning of the year - that we are quite competitive.

"But still not the best, still some work to do, aerodynamically and mechanically, I think we need to keep working, to be at the level of Mercedes and Ferrari that definitely are a little bit of everyone.

"But we could be right behind them in terms of chassis."

The Spaniard said McLaren was benefitting from the Circuit de Catalunya being "fourth or fifth lowest" in power sensitivity rankings among F1 tracks - and reckoned the team would have a good chance to excel at some of the other venues coming up.

But despite Monaco being one of those venues, Alonso insisted he had "zero regrets" missing it: "I will race the Indy 500, one of the biggest races in the world.

"There are six cars, two Mercedes, two Ferraris, two Red Bulls, that will be unbeatable for the next couple of races. To fight for P7 in Monaco, no thanks."

"More or less confident" of finishing

Alonso didn't make the chequered flag in any of the first four races of the season, and was even out before the start in the Bahrain GP.

But while he was hit with more reliability troubles on Friday in Spain, he enjoyed a smooth run in qualifying to take seventh - and is quietly optimistic about his prospects for the race.

On whether or not he was confident that he would make the finish, Alonso said on Saturday: "I'm more or less confident. Obviously I don't have 100 percent confidence, because in four races we have four DNFs.

"Yesterday [Friday] was a difficult day, with a lot of failures. It's not that you go tomorrow and you are 100 percent confident.

"But I'm pretty sure that we will keep learning from the things that are happening to the car. I have a good feeling for tomorrow.

"Some weekends they start in a good way, then everything goes in the wrong direction. Some weekends everything starts wrong, and [at] whatever part in the weekend, everything gets right.

"I had that feeling yesterday. Today everything went right, I still have the feeling that tomorrow everything I going to be OK."

The Spaniard admitted that he qualified "a little bit out of position", but reckoned he was ready to make the most of any incidents further up in the pack.

"I think we need to go to the race with a very open mind. I think the start will be an opportunity to keep the position at least. Hopefully we'll do a good start, and even gain some positions, who knows?

"Maybe there is some action in front of us, in the first corner, or the third corner, or the fourth corner, like Mercedes last year. So we are ready to take any opportunity. The points are the main target.

"Seventh, maybe we are a little bit out of position, because it seems too good – maybe we have to defend a little bit. But we will try."

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Vandoorne confident he can get on Alonso's pace
Next article Ferrari's new start system revealed at Spanish GP

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global