Fernando Alonso wants McLaren-Honda F1 recovery to 'change gear'

Fernando Alonso says McLaren and Honda need to 'change gear' in response to their troubles ahead of the 2017 Formula 1 season

Fernando Alonso wants McLaren-Honda F1 recovery to 'change gear'

Ahead of what is expected to be a tough season-opening race in Melbourne, Alonso has called on McLaren and Honda to ramp up efforts to turn the situation around as quickly as possible.

"Definitely it's frustrating and I'm not happy with it," said Alonso. "But it's the way it is and hopefully we can improve the situation.

"I already asked the team to have a reaction very strong and very soon because obviously this is Formula 1 - no-one will wait for you more than one day, more than one hour.

"This is not a charity game, this is Formula 1, so we need to improve the situation, change the gear, raise our level and compete hard and hopefully enjoy the challenge."

While calling for a quick turnaround in form, Alonso also conceded that the team is unlikely to do anything spectacular at Albert Park this weekend, and that attrition is the only hope of a surprise result.

"The team worked very hard in the last couple of weeks to improve the situation and arrive a little bit more ready to compete, but in Formula 1 there are no miracles in two weeks," he added.

"I expect a difficult weekend, so we have to have our feet on the ground knowing that we have some problems to solve.

"But at the same time this is racing, it's not testing anymore.

"Anything can happen here, many retirements, DNFs can happen so we need to enter the weekend with a mind of having some knowledge and some positive things from this weekend.

"Hopefully [we can] push a little bit more and find the limits because in winter testing we were not able to push at any time."

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Knowing that the weekend ahead is likely to prove difficult in terms of outright performance, McLaren F1 rookie Stoffel Vandoorne reckons mileage is the key thing that the team can take away from Melbourne.

"We know it is not going to be an easy one for us," he said.

"After a difficult start to winter testing, we are not making any predictions.

"We have a couple of small updates in the car but we have to find out during practice tomorrow if they are any better.

"For us it is important to get mileage and understand the package and try to make the most out of it.

"Obviously we have not completed the winter testing programme like we wanted to do, and we know we are in a difficult situation - but we knew that before coming here.

"Now it is all about working together with the team to push us as hard as we can, to put new parts on the car and improve weekend after weekend."

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