Fernando Alonso feels McLaren-Honda enjoyed a step forward in competiveness during the British Grand Prix weekend, despite the team coming away from the Silverstone race empty-handed.
On an eventful afternoon for the two-time world champion, Alonso consolidated his top ten starting position in the wet early stages and provided plenty of entertainment as he attempted to negate the MP4-31's power deficit in the tricky conditions.
However, after losing ground during the pit-stops, Alonso's feisty efforts to recover positions would see him suffer a wild spin into the gravel trap at Turn 1 and kiss the barrier. Though he would get going again, Alonso slipped outside the top ten to an eventual 13th place finish.
With team-mate Jenson Button only 12th, Alonso admits McLaren cannot be 'proud' of its race, but should be encouraged by its pace relative to Williams, Force India and Toro Rosso.
“We are P12 and P13, so I don't think we should be very proud of today's race,” he commented. “That is the way it is, we could have had some points with my car when I was behind Felipe when it was dry but it is difficult to overtake with the car we have at the moment so we have to invent some places, like T1 and T2, which is not a normal overtaking place.
“We went off there. It is difficult when you are battling with someone, [it is] better in qualifying when we are alone and can extract the maximum from the corners but tough race. In a way, I think a step forward, more competitive fighting with Williams, Force India and Toro Rosso in the race, so that is good news.”
After signalling some frustration with the chosen strategy over the team radio during the race, Alonso has urged McLaren to consider 'inventing something' in future to move it up the order.
“We could invent something. We are not fighting for the world championship, we could have stopped earlier or later, something to try and gain some positions but we were a bit slow to react on that. That is the way it is, these races are always very complicated
“I think in these conditions we can go from hero to zero in nothing. You stop one lap earlier and you probably don't finish the lap. I think we did what we can but I think we lost positions, the stops, so we need to look at this.”