Penalties looming large for Alonso and McLaren


McLaren's Fernando Alonso came close to scoring the team's first points of the year in Canada before Honda inflicted its usual pain and disappointment when its power unit failed with just two laps to go.

It was another bitter blow for the Woking-based outfit and the Spanish driver, and one which will likely lead to aching consequences in Baku next weekend as penalties could come in to play. 

"After getting so close to scoring our first point in Canada and suffering another retirement, we go to Baku with even more determination, but it’s no secret that we expect to find this weekend tricky," said Alonso in McLaren's preview.

"After the power unit issues it’s likely we’ll need to take penalties, and the nature of the narrow, fast straights and tight corners means overtaking is generally tough.

"However, it’s certainly not impossible, and we’ll keep fighting as we always do."

Regardless of his endless uphill struggles, Alonso is a fan of Baku, a city for which he is an Ambassador and  which he discovered along with his colleagues for the first time last year.

"Baku City Circuit is the fastest street track on the calendar, so from a driver’s perspective it’s really exciting to be racing at such high speeds with the walls closing in on you either side.

"As usual, the starts are always one of the most crucial points of the race for us, so getting the set-up just right on Friday in time for qualifying on Saturday will be the most important thing." 

Last year, despite pre-race fears of incident and accident, there wasn’t a single Safety Car perod.

"Entering last year’s race, there was the feeling that just getting to the end would ensure a points finish,"  says Fernando’s Race Engineer Mark Temple.

"That didn’t turn out to be the case and we can expect people to be more aggressive in 2017, helped by the knowledge that the tyres can take it."

Gallery: All the pictures from Montreal

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter

Want to win a trackday experience? All you have to do is subscribe to our FREE newsletter HERE

WIN the ULTIMATE TRACKDAY by signing up to the FREE Newsletter! ENTER NOW!