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.”
“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.”