Fernando Alonso: McLaren-Honda driver expects 'big reaction' from team

Joanna Estrada
April 1, 2017

A frustrated Fernando Alonso, whose contract with McLaren expires at the end of 2017, labelled Honda the team's coming into the new season and said it was missing 30km/h of speed on the straights alone.

McLaren endured a problematic pre-season with its Honda power unit, which was plagued with reliability issues and was lacking performance compared to its rivals.

The new boss called what he described as "the best race team in Formula One" together for a Churchillian backs-to-the-wall speech before the start of hostilities at the first race of the season.

"After the difficulties we encountered in winter testing, we came to Melbourne without a clear idea of where we stood", said Alonso.

"There are retirements that can happen so we need to enter the weekend with the mind of having some knowledge and some positive things from this weekend".

"I don't think those observations are helpful but they are probably fairly accurate", Watson, a four-time race victor for McLaren, said.

"So let's see if we can have a good first weekend and see a little bit more of the potential of the auto and see where we are".

McLaren race director Eric Boullier said recently that if McLaren had a Mercedes engine they would "be winning again", and now the race director has told Autosport that Honda don't get F1 culture.

"It was a fairly big one a year ago, but it will be perfectly okay and I'm really looking forward to going back here".

"We are not here to wait four, six or eight races to improve the situation".

"We brought a lot of new parts for the auto here".

"That's useful because, at the moment, we need to extract the maximum out of the package we have".

"Tomorrow's race may be a hard one for us, but we'll pull together to get the best result possible". "I'm alive thanks to the job of the last 10 to 15 years of Formula 1".

"There has not been any sense of refinement from Honda that I can say gives me hope that a team, which I was part of, could ever in the short term return to the position where they are able to challenge for the world championship".

"Last year we were so slow in the corners that you had time to drink a coffee". "I will just drive at my best and hopefully the team can answer that question tomorrow".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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