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F1 Russian GP: Alonso eyes first McLaren-Honda Q3 tilt

Fernando Alonso is optimistic McLaren-Honda can turn its first wheel in a Q3 session for the first time since 2014.
Fernando Alonso says he is quietly confident McLaren-Honda can finally crack the final portion of qualifying in Russia after a positive first day of free practice in Sochi.

Though the Spaniard began ninth in the United States Grand Prix – the best starting position for the McLaren-Honda team since 2015 -, the truncated rain-hit qualifying session means neither her nor Jenson Button have partaken in Q3 for 23 consecutive events.

However, after Button and Alonso ended FP2 in eighth and tenth, the two-time world champion is positive about the MP4-31's potential over a single lap, though he is aware previous Friday efforts haven't translated to similarly eye-catching qualifying results since the team cannot 'turn up' the engine like rivals.

“I think to be close to Q3 would be good news for us and if we can get one car into Q3 that would be even better. I think it's possible, we know that results on Friday sometimes looks a little bit too optimistic for us and then Saturday when everyone turns the engine on we struggle a little bit more.

“The car felt good, not 100 per cent, I think there is still room to improve in terms of set up, so I think there is a little bit more to come from McLaren and let's see if that's enough to be in Q3.”
by Ollie Barstow



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
29.04.2016 - Free Practice 2, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
29.04.2016 - Free Practice 2, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
29.04.2016 - Free Practice 2, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
29.04.2016 - Free Practice 1, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 leads Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and his girlfriend Brittny Ward (USA)
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and his girlfriend Brittny Ward (USA)
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31

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theoldgitspeaks

April 30, 2016 10:18 AM

There is rather too much wishful thinking at McLaren and rather too little progress. At the moment they simply do not have the power to compete with the fastest teams and given their rate of progress I would expect them to drop away from the field until such time as they can produce some extra power. The fact that they have announced a totally new engine for 2017 rather suggests that this current one is near or at it's limit so I don't see much progress this season I'm afraid.



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