Fernando Alonso says he has 'more confidence' in the McLaren-Honda project than he did a year ago, saying he 'tends to agree' with Ron Dennis over his claim it will be the team to end Mercedes' F1 dominance.
McLaren CEO Dennis raised eyebrows earlier this week by boldly predicting McLaren-Honda will be the team to become world champions after Mercedes, just months after it concluded its worst F1 season in more than 30 years.
However, while many have laughed off the suggestion, particularly as McLaren makes slow progress back towards the top ten, Alonso feels he has seen enough steps forward since he re-joined the team in 2015 to believe there is good reason to make such lofty objectives.
“What Ron says it's something he feels and I tend to agree with him,” the two-time world champion declared. “With next year's regulations it's difficult to know how things can mix in terms of competitiveness. I see this project going in the right direction: last year we had many difficulties, we were under performing and all we had was hope things would get better. Now we have more than hope, we've started to see the results, to touch the results and we feel more competitive.
“Everything in the background, in Sakura and Woking, makes a lot of sense, everything is up to speed, so we're more confident now than one year ago, in terms of this project and how we will stop Mercedes domination, but if we're the first to do so, I don't know yet, but it's quite possible.
However, while he expects Red Bull to also be in the mix in the quest to end Mercedes' dominance, he is less certain about his former Ferrari team….
“Red Bull is a top team, we know that, but they're not backed by any manufacturer and it's tough in Formula One; Ferrari will always be competitive, but always missing that last bit.”