Alonso: 'New McLaren package is making me happy'

© XPB 

Fernando Alonso deemed himself happy with his qualifying performance on Saturday in Barcelona, underlining the improvements brought on by McLaren's new package.

The Spaniard will launch his race from eighth on Sunday's grid, his best starting position year to date.

"I'm happy with that, definitely P8 is a good position, I was P13 in the last qualifyings so it's definitely a step forward," Alonso told Sky F1.

"Probably the down side of this position is still the gap with the top 6, they are in another league and we need to keep chasing and closing the gap race after race."

To inch closer to the front-runners and move up the field, McLaren introduced in new aero upgrade centered around the MCL33's front end, an assembly which has given so far full satisfaction to Alonso.

"Yeah, definitely happy," he added. "As I said we definitely make a step forward this race, and everything that we're bringing to the track is delivering the expectations and the lap time we were expecting from them. So that's a positive thing.

"Definitely this package is making me happy, in another way this car is supposed to be the Australian Grand Prix package,"

"That delay on the first improvement probably put us in a difficult position in the first couple of races. We saved them with a lot of points on Sundays with a little bit of luck and good races, but now we need to push the development and we need to bring new parts every single race."

Despite the passing years and the recent set-backs, the local hero never ceases to be amazed by the support delivered by his home crowd, a precious ally when it comes to spurring his motivation.

"When I come here, it seems that it's bigger and bigger and the people are still as excited as every other year," says the two-time world champion.

"They reset whatever happened in the first couple of races and they come here and they expect you to win, and to deliver the result.

"I'm happy for that, happy for their support and hopefully tomorrow we put on a good show for them."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

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