Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Albert Park, 2018

Alonso: Next two months crucial for McLaren

2018 Bahrain Grand Prix

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McLaren’s 2018 season will be defined by the progress it makes over the next two months, according to Fernando Alonso.

Having finished fifth in the team’s first race with Renault power, Alonso believes it’s now down to the team to reduce its deficit to the front runners.

“I think still quite a reasonable gap to close with the leaders,” he said. “But I think it’s up to us now.”

“It’s up to the team to deliver the performance in the next weeks, in the next four, five six grands prix. If we are able to bring the performance to the track and close that gap and be in a reasonable distance with the pole position and the podium, finishes, things like that, then it’s up to us to deliver the result on the weekends.

“I think the next two months are crucial for our hopes in this championship. Hopefully we can keep improving the car, keep putting more performance. And, if it’s not a world championship fight, we’ll be hopefully some podium positions in the year or some regular top six, top five positions. Not only in Australia P5 because the Virtual Safety Car and two Haas retirements.

“Maybe the P5 could become a normality. That’s something we need to discover. It’s probably the first time in the last three years that it’s up to us now to deliver the results.”

Asked by RaceFans if it’s realistic to think McLaren could take a podium finish this year, Alonso said: “Yes.”

“We were two places from that podium already in Australia. They were very close in the last few laps, [Daniel] Ricciardo and Kimi [Raikkonen] fighting together.

“Anything can happen in a race. I won two races in 2008 with Renault. I was in the podium 2009 with the introduction of KERS and that car with I think we were ninth in the world championship.

“Anything can happen in F1, if you are close to that position, before or later than opportunity will come and we will be there to take it. I think it’s very possible this year.”

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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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  • 11 comments on “Alonso: Next two months crucial for McLaren”

    1. ”I was in the podium 2009 with the introduction KERS and that car with I think we were ninth in the world championship.” – 8th to be precise.

    2. “I won two races in 2008 with Renault” – The team cheated your way to one of those wins Fernando.

      1. To be fair, while the Singapore win was despicable, the win in Japan was down to genuine pace…

        1. And he does have a point that (as we now know) “anything can happen” …

          But yeah, as @geemac mentions, Alonso did have some genuine pace at several tracks, even if he was probably pushing too hard at some and the car was not quick everywhere

    3. I won two races in 2008 with Renault.

      yeah, you may want people to forget on of these wins there, Nando… :/

      1. @arrows98 To be fair, on pace they probably could have finished top 5, maybe even on the podium without the problem in Q2.

    4. I honestly think at this point Alonso is only staying in F1 because of that nagging fear he’ll leave just as McLaren find winning form.

    5. austalia flattered mclarens performance, they are still the same margin behind the leaders as they were last year with Honda. Only difference being the car isn’t a mobile chicane on the straights. Asking the engineers to find 1 1/2 seconds a lap just to catch the red bulls is a mammoth task.

      1. Quite. If Haas had been on the ball McLaren would have been 7th at best. And when it comes to the development race, McLaren have no advantage. I expect Renault to improve a lot. Haas too. Even Toro Rosso could surprise us. McLaren have a lot to do.

        Meanwhile, Williams have a mountain to climb. Another year at the back and there will be no top talent left at Grove. They’ll be Minardi Mk II. Depressing.

      2. Alonso himself states that – he mentions the situation with Haas and the SC being the things that got them that 5th place.

    6. Think it’s unrealistic to catch up with red bull, even across whole season, but like he said there could be a lucky podium and they could become the 4th best team on merit, so far they were very close to renault in the race, slower than haas in the race and slower than both in qualifying.

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