Despite his high-profile critique of the McLaren-Honda MP4-30's performance in Suzuka, Fernando Alonso says he is nonetheless taking positives to the forthcoming Russian Grand Prix, pointing out the car's much improved reliability.
The Spaniard drew the ire of McLaren CEO Ron Dennis in the wake of the Japanese Grand Prix after being heard over the team radio during Honda's home event comparing the engine to that of a GP2 car.
With Alonso apologising for his words later on, the former champion is now turning his attentions to the final five events of what has been a difficult season at McLaren, beginning with only the second visit to Sochi on Russia's south coast.
Pointing out the McLaren suffered no notable issues during the Japanese GP weekend, he is hoping for a similar step forward in terms of reliability this weekend.
“Suzuka was clearly a challenging race for us, but the support of the fans was incredible and we were still able to take some positives from it. We're working hard on reliability and it was encouraging that we didn't have any issues with the car all weekend.
“Sochi is a great track and the street circuit layout and tight, precise corners make it really enjoyable to drive. The two straights are long and high-speed which means it won't be easy for us, but our car is very well balanced, so I hope we can have some good battles and make some good progress on track this weekend.”