Alonso keen to leave ‘complicated’ Austrian GP behind

© XPB 

Fernando Alonso sounded slightly resigned in the wake of a “complicated” Austrian Grand Prix, with the McLaren-Honda star enduring his second DNF in a row.

While Alonso’s progress in Baku had been stopped with gearbox issues, it was an electric motor issue that hampered the 34-year-old at the Red Bull Ring.

Despite the problem materialising in the early stages of the race, the double world champion managed to hover around the points-paying positions until he retired for good five laps from the end.

“It was a complicated race for us,” Alonso said. “The engine started to have issues on lap 3 or 4, so we were just carrying on because we were fighting for points, in 10th or 11th place, to be in a position to get points if something would happen.

“I really thought we would have to stop as we’re losing power all the time. So when it was decided that I should stop, one and a half hour later, I was more than prepared for it…

“It was a complicated race right from the start, we didn’t have the electric motor working properly, so it was a weekend to forget and do better next time.”

Team-mate Jenson Button’s sixth-place finish at the Red Bull Ring in dry conditions helped make up for Alonso’s tough outing. The Spaniard says he is pleased with McLaren-Honda’s improved form but admits there is still some way to go before challenging at the sharp end of the field.

“We’re definitively progressing well. Last year we were the two last cars on the grid here, with a total of 105 grid positions penalty and my race lasted 300 metres [Alonso crashed with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen on the opening lap].

“This year we’re able to fight for Q3 and if everything goes well we are in the points. The progress in these 12 months is quite impressive but we need another big step for next year.”

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