Formula 1: Alonso predicts 'big points' for McLaren in Australia

Fernando Alonso says he goes into the 2018 Formula 1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix hoping for a top five finish despite McLaren only being 11th and 12th in Melbourne qualifying.



Formula 1: Alonso predicts 'big points' for McLaren in Australia

Alonso was eighth in both Friday practice sessions, ahead of McLaren's first F1 race with Renault power, among the frontrunners in the damp part of final practice, seventh in Q1 and then in the same spot early in Q2.



But he was shuffled back to 11th and missed the top 10 shootout as others put in superior final laps.



He insisted he was "happy where I am" and very optimistic for the race.



"I deserved to be P11 today, which is still a very good result in my opinion," said Alonso.



"The performance of the car has been quite good all weekend long.



"Obviously you arrive from winter testing and you want to know where you are exactly in terms of pace compared to your opponents and we discovered that the car was well balanced and competitive from FP1 - especially this morning in damp conditions.



"I think this is a very, very good baseline for the remainder of the season despite the result today.



"Big points are coming for us tomorrow I'm sure and this is a very good start of a new season."



Asked to quantify his prediction of 'big points' and whether he might around sixth or seventh place, Alonso replied "hopefully better".



Alonso admitted he had not got everything possible out of the car in qualifying, and said it was always likely to be quicker on long runs anyway.



"I think the race pace is a bit better than the qualifying pace, that was what we saw on Friday," he said.



"And then here today our position is a little bit lower than the performance we have in the car because we didn't optimise the lap.



"I think last year we saw seven retirements here, so I suspect that the cars we have in front of us may not all finish.



"There are interesting battles there in front of us, so we need to stay calm, stay focused, finish the race and with the performance we have in the car that will be big points."

shares
comments
Verstappen suggests qualifying mistake cost him front row start spot
Previous article

Verstappen suggests qualifying mistake cost him front row start spot

Next article

Magnussen: Alonso's 'Ferrari replica' Haas jibe is pace jealousy

Magnussen: Alonso's 'Ferrari replica' Haas jibe is pace jealousy
The pioneering pair who brought a new glory era to an F1 heavyweight  Plus

The pioneering pair who brought a new glory era to an F1 heavyweight 

With the team’s founder now retired and a new boss at the helm, change was coming to Brabham – change that would shape the future of Formula 1. In the third part of our four-part history of Brabham, DAMIEN SMITH examines the effect Bernie Ecclestone had on the team

The combination behind the Silverstone racing battles Hamilton called "F1 at its best" Plus

The combination behind the Silverstone racing battles Hamilton called "F1 at its best"

OPINION: The late battling in the British Grand Prix wowed Formula 1 fans and surely represents the best racing action of the season so far. And there was a cocktail of factors that created the action, from which Carlos Sainz emerged as a popular new winner

How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine Plus

How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine

OPINION: Ferrari won the British Grand Prix with Carlos Sainz, but it ultimately cost Charles Leclerc a chance to make a bigger dent in Max Verstappen's title lead by leaving the Monegasque out on old tyres towards the end. Like Monaco, indecision over strategy proved to be the Scuderia's biggest issue - and if the team doesn't reflect, the headache can only intensify

Formula 1
Jul 5, 2022
The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost Plus

The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost

Formula 1 has a newest race winner, in a grand prix the victor appeared to have lost twice, only to charge back to headline a sensational and dramatic British Grand Prix. From a massive start crash to a late sprint finish, here’s how five factors saw Carlos Sainz take his maiden grand prix win

Formula 1
Jul 4, 2022
Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga Plus

Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga

The appearance of a revised Aston Martin in Spain caused controversy but PAT SYMONDS explains why the FIA investigation found the Silverstone team had no case to answer

Formula 1
Jul 3, 2022
Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Plus

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 2, 2022
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Formula 1
Jul 1, 2022
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022