Fernando Alonso hopes McLaren's rivals' Spanish GP upgrades falter

Fernando Alonso hopes McLaren's Formula 1 rivals "don't deliver" what they expect in the next round of major updates for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso hopes McLaren's rivals' Spanish GP upgrades falter

McLaren has had a tougher than expected start to the 2018 season after admitting it missed its initial development targets.

The team's racing director Eric Boullier then declared the Spanish GP, traditionally the first time teams can produce significant revisions to their cars for that season, as the place to see McLaren's "real" 2018 car.

McLaren has downplayed its expectations for the upgrades since then, but Alonso said: "In Barcelona there is a new aero package coming, but I think 95% of the paddock is bringing a new aero package to Barcelona.

"So, maybe the gap remains as it is, or we just recover a little bit, or we lose more ground.

"Who knows? I think it is up to us to make that package work to expectations and hopefully some others, they don't deliver.

"That is our hope."

Alonso finished seventh at the last race in Azerbaijan despite keeping up McLaren's unwanted run of qualifying outside of the top 10 for every GP this season so far.

The team's Saturday form is its biggest weakness at the moment, though opportunistic Sunday performances have put Alonso sixth in the drivers' championship and McLaren fourth in the constructors' contest despite the tricky start.

Boullier said McLaren has been "bringing parts every weekend" in a bid to boost performance.

"There is a new direction maybe starting from Barcelona and you cannot expect, as Fernando said, to jump everybody," said Boullier.

"Everybody is bringing parts, everybody is bringing a package, especially for the first European races.

"Monaco will be another upgrade, Canada will be another upgrade and Silverstone as well.

"It is every race."

McLaren is one point ahead of Renault's works team in the constructors' championship despite being unable to match its engine supplier's outright performance.

Asked by Autosport if Renault needed to worry about McLaren's Spanish GP upgrade, Carlos Sainz Jr replied: "I think you always need to worry about McLaren.

"That team has such a history and such a rate of development, you always need to keep an eye on them.

"McLaren have not showed a great pace in qualifying but I tell you in the race it is a different car. They look very strong.

"At any moment they could find those two tenths in qualifying and start putting us in a difficult position."

shares
comments
Baku heartbreak will make me stronger, says Bottas
Previous article

Baku heartbreak will make me stronger, says Bottas

Next article

Ferrari can't make Formula 1 'let monkeys run the zoo'

Ferrari can't make Formula 1 'let monkeys run the zoo'
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Plus

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far Plus

The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022