Published: Tue, March 28, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Fernando Alonso: I'm driving better than ever in uncompetitive vehicle

Fernando Alonso: I'm driving better than ever in uncompetitive vehicle

Alonso was a vocal critic of McLaren's engine supplier Honda during a farcical pre-season littered with reliability issues and a lack of performance from its power unit. His team-mate, Stoffel Vandoorne, meanwhile finished last.

"In normal conditions on a normal circuit we should be last and second last".

These problems unsurprisingly reared their head in Australia on the first race weekend of the season, with Alonso suffering from a suspension problem only a few laps from the finish, to ruin a points finish.

'It's a surprise to be so up but at the end we didn't finish and we definitely need to be more competitive very soon, ' Alonso added. We already know the sport is a lot more physical and the cars are more challenging to drive - from a driver's point of view this is exactly what we were looking for in the new regulations, and I really hope this will translate to good battles on track. That's the performance we have now. We were 10th because the qualifying lap yesterday was good, at the start I managed to gain one position and then Grosjean's retirement gave us the other one.

McLaren reunited with Honda in 2015 but have failed to return to the front of the grid and their engine was effectively shaking itself into breaking down during testing in Barcelona. "He has said what he feels because the facts are the facts, and he is the best driver in the world".

On Friday, Martin Brundle described McLaren's problems as very bad for the whole sport.

"Nobody needs the great McLaren team, Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne blowing up and down the back of the field".

Regardless, Alonso is encouraged by the potential the latest generation F1 cars, which he says are a vast improvement on the "frugal" machines he has criticised in recent years.

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