Fernando Alonso insists that he is looking forward to this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, despite the ongoing struggles being faced by the McLaren-Honda team.
The Spaniard lasted a single lap last time out in Mexico, taking the start despite MGU-H problems out of deference to the fanatical crowd that turned out for the first race back at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 23 years. With seven DNFs in the 17 races so far this season – the last two sandwiching a hat-trick of eleventh-place finishes – Alonso is becoming accustomed to an early bath, but he maintains that each race is an important as the last as the storied McLaren-Honda partnership attempts to get back to the sort of form it showed in its heyday.
“The last couple of races have been frustrating on my side of the garage, as we've had some bad luck with reliability issues, but it's something we're always working hard on and we'll be looking especially closely at in the lead up to the Brazilian Grand Prix so that we can make sure we get the most track time possible over the course of the weekend,” the 34-year old confirmed.
“We are still seeing progress in our pace and small improvements in every area race-by-race so we know it's important to keep our heads down and keep pushing towards the end of the season. Every race counts and the more we can learn and gather data at every track, the more information we will have at our disposal over the winter and for the development of our package.”
Alonso celebrated his 250th grand prix in Mexico, but knows that he is highly unlikely to be challenging for his first Brazilian Grand Prix win this weekend, having finished third on three occasions, in 2006, 2008 and 2012.
“We knew Mexico would be tough, and many of Interlagos' characteristics are similar, with its steep sections and long straights,” he pointed out, “However, the circuit is incredible to drive and always a lot of fun, so I'm looking forward to the weekend.
“After the incredible fan support we received in Mexico, I know we'll receive another warm welcome in Brazil. The atmosphere is always fantastic and the Brazilian fans are just as passionate. It's a very special place and we always see unpredictable racing there, so let's hope we can have some fun this weekend.”