Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Suzuka, 2015

Alonso encouraged by comparison with Hamilton

2015 United States Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso said the United States Grand Prix was his best race of the year so far and drew encouragement from his lap time comparison with Lewis Hamilton.

“It was definitely a different feeling compared with the rest of the year,” said Alonso, who slipped out of the points in the final laps of the race due to a problem with his upgraded Honda engine.

“All the new parts we bring to the races, they seem to deliver what we expect from them,” he said. “So definitely there is a very nice direction of the team.”

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Circuit of the Americas, 2015
McLaren “need to copy” some of their rivals
“In this year has been tough, has been frustrating at times. But we kept all united, we kept moving in one direction, one team. For next year I think we are putting some of the problems we had this year in place for next year.”

“So you keep enjoying racing and when the circuit suit a little bit our car it’s a little bit extra motivation and we push a little bit harder.”

“It was the case in Austin, we felt more competitive all sessions in the weekend and in the race as well, I think probably the best of race of the year for me. In the first 20 laps I think nine of them I was quicker than Lewis. This didn’t happen for the last two and a half years so this was very good news.”

Alonso said McLaren should be able to make great gains in the winter by adopting innovations already seen on their rivals’ cars.

“The lack of performance we have in some areas of the car are quite fundamental issues,” he explained. “They have a not too difficult answer, let’s say, or not too difficult solutions. It’s just we need to copy some of the directions that everyone has apart from us.”

“So it’s some of the time we can recover with not much penalty because others already have it in their package. Some of our performance gain will expect will come free, let’s say. But it’s true that all the competitors will be working very hard all winter and they will recover a couple of seconds as well, so we need to make an extra.”

2015 United States Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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14 comments on “Alonso encouraged by comparison with Hamilton”

  1. Glad to see Alonso is getting his mood up. We need him and McLaren to become competive again, for the good of the sport.

  2. Although there was some apparent improvement from McHonda in Austin, I would not use Hamilton’s pace as a benchmark. In the wet he was just plain slow. What was perhaps more encouraging signs was that Button was able to keep Sainz behind in 6th place towards the end of the race.

    Also, out of the four races where McHonda have scored points, two were in Monaco and Hungary (slow circuits), and the other two were in the rain. The chassis is clearly not the problem.

    1. Unless I’m mistaken Sainz overtook Button in the race. He only got classified ahead because of Sainz’s penalty.

    2. Sainz finished ahead? He had penalty.

    3. You guys are correct, my memory is fading.

  3. Hate to break it to you Fernando, it was 4 laps, unless you are counting the 2 laps with VSC when lots of people were faster than Hamilton… And half of those 4 laps were with Inters at the end of their life, and the other 2 with slicks on damp track. Sure, that would help you go fast under normal conditions. /s

    1. So are you saying Alonso had superior tires in all instances? Seems like have gone out of your way to diminish his efforts.
      Let him enjoy the accomplishment – it’s been a long hard journey…already.

  4. It is for the benefit of F1 and ALL fans that Alonso is in a competitive car fighting at the front.

  5. “we need to copy others” He says. Didn’t he say while leaving Ferrari that the way to beat Mercedes is not by copying them but by doing something else altogether.

    1. Different team, different situation

    2. On that note, apparently Tim Goss has said that Honda finally have fixed their compressor to run at the higher RPMs. Maybe that’s why Alonso is now expecting a 2-2.5 second step forward for next year. Or if they are copying, that’s the B-solution of copying the Mercedes compressor layout!

      1. A source on that would be amazing ^^

  6. When it come to anything McLaren I will wait until I see improved performance over 3 weekends in stable conditions, as no team in history has so much spin on proceedings before the event.

  7. we are putting some of the problems we had this year in place for next year

    I’m guessing the fact that English is his second language means he was intending to say the opposite of this convoluted phrase …

    I’d certainly like McLaren to regain its form. Seeing a team come from literally the back of the grid one year to win a race or two the next would be spectacular, though I suspect they’re really just hanging in there waiting for a rule-change in a couple of years.

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