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F1 Austrian Grand Prix: Alonso expects more competitive McLaren in Austria

Fernando Alonso anticipates McLaren-Honda will be fighting for the points again in the Austrian Grand Prix following two point-less races.
Fernando Alonso feels McLaren-Honda can expect a more competitive race weekend in the Austrian Grand Prix than the team managed in Azerbaijan as it looks to kick-off the European mid-season with a return to the points.

The Spaniard, along with team-mate Jenson Button, failed to make it into the top ten in Baku, Alonso retiring with technical problems in the closing stages of the race.

Marking the second event in succession that neither McLaren driver had made it into the points, Alonso nonetheless predicts the MP4-31 package is better suited to the sweeping Red Bull Ring and should be fighting towards the sharper end.

“After the unique demands of the Baku City Circuit, we return to a more conventional racetrack in Austria. It's a much shorter track than Baku, but it's still very challenging because you cannot afford to make any mistakes. A lap takes less than 70s, which squeezes the grid closer together and there are only a few tenths of a second between rows.

“To be fast you need good traction and efficient aero, which we have. For that reason, I hope we can be more competitive than we were in Baku – and I hope to have a longer race than I did last year, which was over on the opening lap!”

Alonso, with his best finish of fifth place from the Monaco Grand Prix, comes into the ninth round of the season 13th in the standings with a sizeable 13 point advantage over Button.
by Ollie Barstow



Related Pictures

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Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MP4-31
Red Bull Racing freight heading to Melbourne.
10.03.2017.
Red Bull Racing freight heading to Melbourne.
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Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
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Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing signs autographs for the fans.
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Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13.
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Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13 with flow-vis paint.
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Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13.
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Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32.
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Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32.
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The McLaren MCL32 of Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren is recovered back to the pits on the back of a truck.
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The McLaren MCL32 of Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren is recovered back to the pits on the back of a truck.
10.03.2017.
The McLaren MCL32 of Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren is recovered back to the pits on the back of a truck.
10.03.2017.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13.
10.03.2017.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13.
10.03.2017.
Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32.
10.03.2017.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13.
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Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32.
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jmr1975

June 29, 2016 6:39 AM

I'd have thought that the long straights would count against their power units, which are still down on power and reliability, (allegedly) still have ERS deployment issues, and no qualifying power-up modes.



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