Spanish GP weekend confirms McLaren improvement - Alonso


Fernando Alonso says McLaren is now right up there with its leading mid-field rivals following the team's latest upgrade package which was put to the task again in Sunday's race.

The Woking-based outfit had high expectations for its Spanish Grand Prix weekend, and Alonso says his home race showed a clear improvement of the team's level of performance.

"We knew the upgrades put us in a better position in the midfield pack," he told Sky F1.

"I think we caught up with Renault and Haas. But the top three teams are still developing their cars at the same rate we do so we keep that gap unfortunately."

While giving the thumbs up to his improved MCL33, the local hero endured a tricky afternoon, even doubting points would be possible after getting involved in the first lap commotion.

"We had the plan beforehand which was overtaking cars at the start because we started on the supersofts so we knew we had to stop quite early," he said.

"But we found that we lost positions and then we were in the middle of the Turn Two incident so I thought points were impossible today.

"It was difficult to overtake today – I was behind Leclerc for a long time – as we are still lacking some straight-line speed to be able to pass.

"This is something we’re working on. We know where our car’s weaknesses lie and hopefully we’ll find a solution quite soon."

In the latter part of the race, Alonso radioed in to his team to inquire about the odd chance of rain setting in. The clouds lingered but the heavens never opened up, unfortunately for the Spaniard.

"During the race, I was concentrating more on the sky than the cheering grandstands, as in some corners there were very dark clouds.

"I thought maybe some rain could have helped us, but unfortunately it didn’t come in the end."

Alonso's 100 percent points-scoring track record for this season remains intact, and it's just another motif of satisfaction for the oldest man on the Grand Prix grid.

"We made a good step forward here, but we know it’s going to be a tough battle until the end of the season.

"It’s important to score points every race and we have done so far for five consecutive races. I’m happy right now."

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