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F1 US GP: McLaren can attack 2017 with confidence – Alonso

Fernando Alonso feels McLaren-Honda can put the difficulties of the past two seasons to good use when F1 overhauls its regulations in 2017.
Fernando Alonso believes McLaren-Honda potentially has more to gain than its rivals heading into the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship season as it looks to take full advantage of the incoming overhaul in technical regulations.

Aerodynamic tweaks and larger tyres could lead to cars lapping upwards of four seconds quicker in 2017 as F1 bids to improve the spectacle of the sport with more aggressive machinery.

The first major regulation change to be instigated since the start of the V6 Hybrid era in 2014, the shake-up is being seen as an opportunity for teams to make larger-than-usual strides during the off-season.

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Amongst these teams is McLaren-Honda, with two-time champion Alonso feeling it is well placed to put the lessons learned over the past two seasons into positive action.

“The ballgame change for next year will mix up the cars and I think that some of the information that we have for this car will not be useful anymore for next year because they've changed everything. But what I'm happy with is how the team has settled with the structure that we have, with the organisation that we have, with the Honda and McLaren implications, much closer than ever in the last two years.

“Last year we had a lot of difficulties [with Honda], but for this year we knew that improving the engine would not be difficult because it was in a very low performance base. I think for next year the step will be even bigger because the organisation has changed a lot.

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“We have a lot more people and resources, we have a lot more ideas and everything that I see now is much more logical for next year.

“So even if the regulations change a lot then all of the information that we get this year is not very useful at all, then I think the team is very well prepared to attack next years regulations with a lot of confidence because the team grew up a lot in the last 15/16 months.”

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October 21, 2016 8:56 AM

For Mclaren to be in with a chance of wins or even podiums next season they are going to have to make a large jump in performance while maintaining reliability. I don't see that they will do that given their current state of play. Ross Brawn has always maintained that it takes five seasons to get to the position that Mercedes are in and Mclaren/Honda started from a VERY low level. While there may be a useful performance gain next season I don't believe that will propel them to the front, best we can expect is that they run in the top 6/8 on a regular basis and score consistent points. It will be 2018 at the earliest for a proper shot a at winning and Alonso is likely to be gone by then leaving Vandoorne and another to try and win.

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