Both McLarens failed to progress beyond the first phase of qualifying in France, which was the first time neither car has reached Q2 this year. However Alonso insisted the team’s performance was better than some media has presented it.
“We had a quite poor weekend in terms of performance. We were uncompetitive on Friday, uncompetitive on Saturday, uncompetitive on Sunday. We are the first ones [to] know that. We realise that and we want to improve that.
“At the same time we are not last. We are not getting worse and worse. We are not the worst team in the paddock. We are not all these things that we’ve been hearing for the last three days.
“We are fifth in the constructors’ championship, I’m eighth in the drivers’ championship. All the other ones that are doing a perfect season, they are behind us, so maybe they are not so perfect and we are not so bad.
“We understand we have been uncompetitive and we are the first ones that want to improve that.”
Alonso pointed out the team’s race performance in Paul Ricard was better than its results indicated.
“If you see the results we were not good on Sunday,” he admitted. “But if you look at the race trace we were quite competitive on Sunday.”
“I started last, I respected the track limits in lap one so I was last. And then I changed from the back-up tyre for the yellow tyre on lap one, I was keeping the pace of the whole mid-group.
“After the incident with Vettel I was last by 10 seconds and even with that when Sainz and Magnussen did a pit stop they were just in front of us. So the pace of the whole first stint was very similar to Sainz and Magnussen which was definitely not [the case] on Saturday, [when] we were 1.5 seconds behind them.”
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2018 F1 season
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed
- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year