Fernando Alonso says McLaren is aware it needs to prioritise improving its performances in Formula 1 qualifying sessions, but stressed the team has a strong race package. 

Despite a switch to Renault engines for this season, McLaren has struggled in qualifying trim and has not progressed to Q3 since May’s Monaco Grand Prix. The team has fared better on Sunday’s in order to recover into the points, managing top 10 finishers with at least one car in all but three races this year. 

But just two appearances in the points across F1’s first-ever triple header has seen the Woking-based squad slip down to seventh place in the constructors’ championship. Speaking about the upcoming German Grand Prix, Alonso acknowledged where he believes improvements must be made. 

German GP Records

“We know we need to work on our qualifying performances to give ourselves the best chance on Sunday, but we’ve also seen that during the race we can push forward and secure points, so the aim is to achieve the same in Germany next weekend,” Alonso said. 

“The next couple of races before the summer break are on very different tracks. We need to work hard, and do as much as possible to adapt our set-up for each of them to maximise our chances. We know this weekend won’t be an easy track for us but we’ll give it our best as always.”

Teammate Stoffel Vandoorne is yet to beat his teammate over one lap this season, and has recorded just eight of McLaren’s 48-point haul from the opening 10 rounds. 

Although he has never raced at the Hockenheimring in F1, the Belgian is hoping to rediscover some form at a circuit he enjoyed success at during his title-winning GP2 campaign.

“Although it’s the only grand prix on the current calendar that I haven’t raced at in Formula 1, I did race at Hockenheim in GP2 and got a podium, so there’s definitely good memories there for me,” he explained. 

“We know that the Hockenheimring is a challenging track, with long, fast straights that require a lot of power and also a slower, tighter section at the end of the lap where you need good car balance and traction out of the corners.”