Two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso says if he can help McLaren-Honda secure its first win since re-joining forces it would be his biggest achievement in the sport having seen the team so far off the pace at the start of last year.
The dream combination for Alonso of McLaren-Honda returning soon became a frustrating nightmare as it quickly became clear that despite a year of engine development Honda's power unit was vastly off the pace and reliability of its rivals.
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Alonso has always kept faith the team turning around its fortunes, having idolised the previous generation of McLaren-Honda by running replica colours during his karting days, and is desperate to be a key part of the squad reserving its fortunes with a first win for the Woking-based squad since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.
“I think the first win with this project will be quite a big thing for any of us,” Alonso said. “I don't know if I will have that chance, or if Stoffel will have that chance or whatever, but when that day arrives everyone that was involved in this project from day one, from the very beginning, from zero, from being 10 seconds away in winter testing last year, 5.8 seconds in Australia last year.
“When arrive that first win it will be a massive achievement and hopefully we will feel very proud.”
Despite retaining the belief he can win again with McLaren, Alonso is aware of the size of the task ahead of him and the team with his best result over the past two years being two fifth places (Hungary 2015 and Monaco 2016).
“To make that real we need to work very hard for the next months and we need to accelerate the process, because in Formula One no one waits forever,” he said. “Things change quickly, new regulations are coming for next year, and maybe new regulations are coming after two years so you really need to speed up everything you do in Formula One because there is no time to relax.”
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