MONTMELO – Fernando Alonso is confident that McLaren can score its first points of the 2015 Formula 1 season in tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix despite qualifying outside of the top ten.
Following its worst ever start to an F1 season, McLaren entered this weekend’s race in Barcelona full of hope thanks to a number of upgrades for the Honda-powered MP4-30 car.
Although the team did claim a minor success by getting both of its cars through to Q2 for the first time in this season on Saturday, Alonso was forced to settle for 13th place on the grid ahead of teammate Jenson Button in P14.
“We are learning about the car every session we do,” Alonso said. “For me, the third or fourth grand prix of the year, without winter testing, there is more to come in the next races.
“We are unlocking some of the potential of the car here and there, the power unit, the brake performance, the aerodynamics. We keep updating the car, there is still more to come.”
The top ten cars appeared to be out of reach for the rest of the field during qualifying, resulting in a gap of half a second between Daniil Kvyat in P10 and Romain Grosjean in P11 in Q2.
However, Alonso remains confident that McLaren can pick up its first points of the year at the Spanish Grand Prix, but he still has bigger prizes in his sights for the rest of the season.
“I am confident we can take points tomorrow,” Alonso said. “It doesn’t change too much, to finish ninth, 10th, 11th, one point, two points, it is not what we want.
“We want much bigger than that but it is true for the team motivation, to achieve results we can touch, because they are only hopes and words, but if we can start scoring points physically in the race that will be a help and that is what we want to do tomorrow.”
The Spanish Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.