Fernando Alonso said he feels “disappointed in a way” that McLaren is not yet on Red Bull’s level in Formula 1 despite now having the same power unit, finishing more than one second behind during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday.

McLaren targeted a return towards the front of the field in 2018 following its split with Honda after three difficult seasons, securing a Renault power supply that is identical to that used by the Red Bull team.

But while Red Bull has managed to already claim one race win so far this season through Daniel Ricciardo, who also took pole position in Monaco on Saturday, McLaren remains firmly stuck in the midfield.

Alonso was able to qualify seventh in Monaco, 1.1 seconds behind Ricciardo on pole, and while he said it was a result he was proud of, he admitted there was a tinge of disappointment the team had not reached Red Bull’s level in 2018.

“We knew more or less that the Red Bull was quite strong here, and favourites in a way. Also for Mercedes and Ferrari, Red Bull was the team to beat here - it was not a surprise,” Alonso said.

“Obviously we’ve been chasing that pace all year long. We identified, we know what areas we need to work to be on that pace. I think the last sector in Barcelona, we realised that Monaco could be quite strong for Red Bull.

“We are not in that pace yet. I’m disappointed in a way because we have the same power unit, and we should be at that level.

“But at the same time, we knew from very early on in the year that we are not yet at that level. We will try to be as soon as possible.”

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier added: “It’s a journey we are going through. We have a clear target. We knew that car would be strong in Monaco, and we keep doing our own progress as well, working very hard.”