Fernando Alonso admits he is concerned McLaren’s current straight-line speed deficit in Formula 1 will result in a difficult weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix. 

A gearbox failure prevented Alonso from taking advantage of Monaco’s tight and twisty streets, ending his points-scoring streak of five races, while teammate Stoffel Vandoorne also missed out on points.

Alonso was able to haul his McLaren into Q3 for the second race in a row in Monte Carlo but believes the Woking-based squad’s clear weakness so far in 2018 will act as a “penalty” around the long and fast straights at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Fernando Alonso F1 Driver Profile 2018

“We’ve been in Q3 in Barcelona, Q3 [in Monaco] - It would be nice to keep that trend in the next coming races and confirm our progress,” Alonso said. 

“But I think Canada is going to be challenging. It’s a tough circuit with long straights. Our lack of speed is maybe a penalty there. It will be a good test for us.”

McLaren is set to be boosted by the introduction of a power unit upgrade from engine supplier Renault in Montreal, though the team is six points adrift of the Renault works squad in the battle over fourth place in the constructors’, while it has lagged behind Red Bull so far this year.

Despite pre-season hopes of being able to threaten the likes of Red Bull, Vandoorne insists McLaren is heading in the right direction to address the deficit to its rivals.

“We have a clear direction for our team in terms of where the car needs to improve,” he explained. “I think the past couple of weeks, we’ve made a small step forward. 

“I think there’s a big push now in the factory to make even bigger gains over the next few weeks.”