Fernando Alonso admits there's still “a lot of work to be done" at McLaren-Honda, although the Spaniard came within 3.9s of claiming the team’s first points in 2015 during Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
The double world champion, who had already secured the Woking-based squad’s maiden Q2 appearance by qualifying 14th, drove a solid race to finish 11th and was reeling in Felipe Massa’s Williams in the closing stages.
However, Alonso’s solid effort was somehow overshadowed by team-mate Jenson Button suffering a torrid weekend at Sakhir, as a recurring electrical issue prevented the Briton from even starting the Grand Prix.
While Alonso takes satisfaction from his second consecutive race finish, the 33-year-old acknowledges McLaren is still facing an uphill battle to make up for lost ground.
“I think it’s good for us to get some more experience and to finish the race with one car,” said Alonso. “Sadly, Jenson could not start the race so it was important for us to do as many laps as possible, to get extra experience.
“Now we have three weeks to prepare and to increase the performance and the reliability because we knew this would not be good enough and we’ve proved this weekend there is a lot of work to be done. But we’re optimistic for the future.”