Fernando Alonso says after breaking into the final Q3 session in qualifying at Circuit de Catalunya for the first time since returning to McLaren-Honda, the Spaniard's main objective in Monaco is to repeat the feat as he hopes reliability gremlins won't plague his race.
The Spanish driver produced McLaren's strongest qualifying performance since its re-collaboration with Honda at the start of 2015 when he grabbed 10th on the grid for his home race.
Alonso's joy turned into despair when a technical problem with the engine surfaced midway through the race and forced him into retirement while battling for a points finish.
After gaining extra confidence from McLaren's solid showing during the opening in-season test immediately after the Spanish Grand Prix, Alonso is aiming to repeat his Q3 berth at Monaco and feels the tight and twisty street circuit can play to his car's characteristics.
“The most obvious characteristic of the Monaco circuit is that qualifying is probably more important there than at any other track,” Alonso said. “Getting through to Q3 in Barcelona for the first time since the McLaren-Honda partnership was reunited was definitely a boost for the team, so our aim, of course, will be to replicate that to give ourselves the best possible chance in Monaco.
“Monaco is a very demanding race, so reliability and strategy will be key in order to maximise the potential in our chassis and power unit at this circuit. After a disappointing result in the race in Spain, I'm pleased to see that our work completed at the test was encouraging.
“I hope that can translate to a positive performance for the whole team next weekend. It's definitely one of the best races of the year.”