Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Albert Park, 2018

McLaren postponed some Melbourne upgrades – Alonso

2018 Australian Grand Prix

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McLaren did not run its complete Australian Grand Prix upgrade package last weekend, Fernando Alonso has revealed.

The team planned to add several aerodynamic upgrades to its MCL33 following its disrupted pre-season testing. But Alonso admitted some of these were not on the car during Sunday’s race.

Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Albert Park, 2018
2018 Australian Grand Prix in pictures
“The car has good potential as we identified in winter testing,” said Alonso after finishing fifth. “I think it’s still to be unlocked a lot of potential that we have in the car.”

“Some of the updates that we planned for here will come for the next coming races. So I expect a lot from McLaren.”

“And I think the integration from McLaren and Renault, this combination, is very new,” he added. “It’s the first race, so a lot more to come.”

Racing director Eric Boullier praised the team for the progress it had made since the pre-season tests. “Reliability-wise we had a trouble-free weekend, which is a relief after the issues we had in winter testing,” he said. “It’s all thanks to a huge amount of hard work from everyone in the team, who have done a remarkable job since Barcelona.”

“Now we need to keep pushing, and work on readying the upgrades we have in the pipeline as soon as possible.”

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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 “McLaren postponed some Melbourne upgrades – Alonso”

  1. Work hard guys, still quite a few homework to do! Fingers crossed.

  2. Sometimes, these upgrades can be a step backwards, so let’s not say HOP yet. Anyway, in normal conditions, McLaren won’t be a threat to the top 3. This includes RBR, of course, since they mentioned them as the target-team with a Renault engine. So, they better get real and before beating RBR, they better start beating Haas and Renault on merit.

    1. Looking at the cars current aero platform, and Alonso’s comments surely these updates are part of this years design. Often teams either can’t come up with the aero package in time or choose to use their resources in other areas, as melbourne can wait, it’s not an aero track and it won’t validate aero work.

    2. Agree, that’s what I said on some old article, mclaren were slower in qualifying and faster in the race than renault and slower than haas on both. Start beating those 2 on merit before worrying about red bull which is closer to 1 sec ahead of mclaren than being similar to mclaren!

    3. @mg1982 McLaren has been boasting about their good correlation for a while now, and last year there seemed to be no upgrade that didn’t work so reason to be hopeful.

      But more worrying is their operations which seems quite rusty, even though they did Ok last time. I wouldn’t be surprised if some weird strategy or botched pit stop will lose them points next races.

      1. Balue (@balue)
        Even though they had a relatively routine weekend in Melbourne? All teams make mistakes with their operation at some point during the season. Practice they say makes perfect. The last 3 years have been trying, and of course they had good old Honda to hide behind. Not now. I think they will be OK. The target should be 4th behind Red Bull. Even 5th would be OK.

  3. Vettel fan 17 (@)
    29th March 2018, 13:04

    I hope the new upgrades will put them on par with Renault, so that we see a good battle between them.

    1. There was little between them in Australia already; Alonso just had a poor Q2 and Vandoorne was off his pace all weekend. I expect them to be in front of Renault from Bahrein onwards.

      1. Wrong. Alonso himself told that he got the best position possible.

        1. @miani I think that like much of what Alonso says these days, it needs to be taken with a grain of salt. His lock-up on his last lap in Q2, by his own admission, cost him enough to miss out on Q3. But the difference is marginal between Renault and Mclaren. Especially during the race. Let’s just hope in Bahrain, with a longer straight and a wider track, that we see some real fighting.

          1. He was left out by McLaren with cold tyres in his last Q2 lap. He couldn’t warm them up enough and the first sector was bad. He probably thinks part of the mistake is McLaren’s but doesn’t want to throw them under the bus, while at the same time he wont admit a mistake that he doesn’t think he should be fully blamed for.

        2. Toto not Patty mode
          31st March 2018, 2:25

          Wrong! Alonso was fitted with cold tires for his q2 laps. That is why he did not was able to heat them up on time for his best lap. This was explained in the spanish news, that is why he asked the team to start doing better pit stops and avoid making those kind of mistake because those are going to cost many points due to how close the gap is between the mid- teams.

  4. McLaren were behind the 8 ball because of the late start after changing to the Renault engine.
    The lack of laps in testing compounded the issue by denying them critical data for developing/tweaking the chassis.
    They are basically still testing in for the next several races therefore will show a lot of performance increase over the next few races.
    Alonso claimed last year they had the best chassis and he doesn’t hand out accolades often. I don’t see why they can’t accomplish the same this year.
    I believe one of the many upgrades coming to Bahrain, the barge board, has a huge effect on chassis performance so gaining a few tenths should be doable.
    I expect McLaren will meet the target of catching Red Bull though or getting close enough to equal them in podiums.
    MAG stated a few days ago Haas will struggle to keep ahead of McLaren because of the latter’s culture and he should know.
    I think good times are ahead.

  5. Toto not Patty mode
    31st March 2018, 2:27

    @luis, sorry I did not realized that you had already answered that question.

Comments are closed.