Austrian GP: Fernando Alonso says McLaren's F1 upgrade is working

Fernando Alonso believes the McLaren Formula 1 team's aerodynamic upgrade for the Austrian Grand Prix has worked, but his qualifying performance and the Red Bull Ring's nature disguised the gains

Austrian GP: Fernando Alonso says McLaren's F1 upgrade is working

Alonso was only 0.1 seconds faster than team-mate Jenson Button in the older-spec car in Q1, leading to questions about the effectiveness of the upgrade.

But the Spaniard was pleased with how the car felt with the new package, which features a heavily revised nose section.

TECH ANALYSIS: McLaren's upgrade package

"It felt good," said Alonso. "I felt an improvement to the car, I felt more grip.

"So the direction is good and the new parts are delivering more or less what we expect.

"My lap was not particularly good in Q1 so maybe [the reason] the difference between the new car and the old car is only one tenth is because Jenson did a better lap."

Both McLarens will start at the back of the grid in the race as part of mammoth 25-place grid penalties for engine change.

Alonso stressed the importance of getting the cars to the end to learn more about the updates.

"We are short on mileage with both cars this year and it will be important to get that information tomorrow," he said.

"Especially having those two aero packages between the two cars, so we need to have some more answers in the race.

"The car felt more competitive this weekend on the corners, so I'm positive and I'm happy for that.

"Unfortunately this is a very high-powered circuit so we cannot maximise the newer package but I think we are moving in the right direction."

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