Fernando Alonso: 70% of McLaren's work for 2019 car developments

Fernando Alonso says 70% of the recent work on McLaren's troublesome Formula 1 car was focused on 2019 and it has only brought one proper upgrade so far this year

Fernando Alonso: 70% of McLaren's work for 2019 car developments

McLaren admitted during the British Grand Prix weekend the MCL33 has less downforce than its 2017 F1 car, and the team has been using recent Friday practice sessions to try experimental parts to trace the problem.

Alonso says McLaren now understands why its 2018 car is so compromised, but the fixes will take too long to implement so instead it will invest "70% of the knowledge and understanding of this car for next year's project".

"We are working very hard and very deep into the weakness of the car," Alonso said.

"After investing three or four Fridays, FP1s, just doing aero development and aero understanding, we know that maybe we compromise a little bit the race weekend and the performance in qualifying, but we get a lot of information on those Fridays and I think now we are in a point of we know exactly what to do.

"There are some fixes for this year, but let's say that 70% of the knowledge and the understanding of this car will be for next year's project, because it requires time - three or four months development and windtunnel time etc. that is probably better to invest for next year.

"Sometimes it's good to go very deep into the problems and down in performance to understand the car, so I see a much clearer and brighter future now with all the problems and understanding [gained].

"I think we have a clear direction now, so that's the most important thing."

Alonso explained McLaren would "keep that approach" of using first free practice sessions in particular to develop its 2019 concepts, but he hopes Friday in Hungary can be "a little bit more normal".

"We have some updates into this race and we will concentrate in validating those as well, not only the normal understanding of the car," Alonso added.

"Also we need to test the performance and the gains of the last parts, so hopefully we see some better results."

Although McLaren has conducted many experiments and brought new parts to try on its car recently, Alonso says McLaren's 2018 form has suffered because the package it added for May's Spanish GP remains the team's only major successful in-season upgrade.

"We had basically one upgrade this year, in Barcelona," Alonso said. "All the other races we brought small parts that were not significant performance.

"Some of those parts were experimental, some of those were negative not positive, so overall we only brought one update.

"We were between seventh and 10th in Australia at the beginning of the year, we came back from seventh to 10th in Barcelona, Monaco, and then we are going back, back.

"Hopefully this weekend will put us in this front part of this midfield group."

shares
comments
Toro Rosso: James Key still under contract following McLaren announcement

Previous article

Toro Rosso: James Key still under contract following McLaren announcement

Next article

McLaren changes Vandoorne's F1 chassis after recent problems

McLaren changes Vandoorne's F1 chassis after recent problems
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams McLaren
Author Ben Anderson
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021