Fernando Alonso is heading into this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix with renewed optimism after scoring his first Formula 1 points of the year last time out in Baku, as well as believing the Red Bull Ring circuit will better-suit McLaren.

Alonso endured a miserable start to the year thanks to a lack of both reliability and performance from Honda's power unit, leaving him without points and just one finish from the opening seven races.

The Spaniard finally broke into the points in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix nine days ago, finishing ninth to give McLaren its first score of the year.

"I really enjoyed my race in Baku," Alonso said. "Our performance in the race not only showed that the foundations of our car package are strong, but also that our operational team - our mechanics, engineers and strategists - are all racers, poised and waiting to take advantage of any situation.

"Two points may have been a small consolation after an extremely tough weekend, but, as I said at the time, we'll take it and use it to drive us forwards."

Heading into this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix, Alonso is once again upbeat about his chances, believing the nature of the Red Bull Ring will play to McLaren's strengths, as well as benefitting from an updated power unit from Honda.

"There are reasons to feel more optimistic about our weekend in Austria," Alonso said. "It's a circuit that's not as dependent on power as some of the recent races, and I think our car will be better suited to the twists and turns of the Spielberg circuit. I think we'll be able to push hard.

"We've also got a couple of useful steps coming on the car, including - hopefully - Honda's revised Spec 3 power unit, which I tried during Friday practice in Azerbaijan.

"Every step is important, so I'm looking forward to a positive weekend where we can once again get everything out of the car."



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