Fernando Alonso believes that McLaren is still “too fragile” after suffering yet another problem on his car during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday.
Alonso was forced to park his car up during Q2 without having set a time in the session, leaving him 15th overall in the final qualifying order.
The Spaniard will make up two places by virtue of Romain Grosjean’s grid penalty and Carlos saint Jr’s exclusion from qualifying, meaning that he will start the Monaco Grand Prix from 13th place.
Speaking after the session on Saturday, Alonso revealed that McLaren was unsure what the problem on his car was, but remained upbeat about the team’s progress.
“We don’t exactly know what happened to my car in Q2,” Alonso said. “I guess it was something electrical because the car switched itself off in the middle of the straight. I had no power, no electrics, and no readout on the steering wheel.
“But, overall, the team’s performance has been better this weekend, and Jenson [Button] at least has the opportunity to score a few points tomorrow.”
However, Alonso has written off his own chances of points, believing that he will struggle to make up any positions during the race due to the lack of overtaking around the tight Monegasque streets.
The Spaniard also said that the team remained too weak as its struggles since switching to Honda power units for the 2015 season continued.
“I don’t wish to sound pessimistic, but, in the Monaco Grand Prix, the race finishes on Saturday afternoon,” Alonso said. “On Sunday, you just join a train of cars.
“Hopefully we can gain some experience of the car, and improve its performance and reliability. We’re still too fragile at the moment.”
His teammate, Jenson Button, was disappointed not to qualify inside the top ten on Saturday, but remains hopeful of scoring McLaren’s first points of the season.
“The car felt really good – although we still don’t have enough outright pace – but I have a lot of confidence in it,” Button said.
“Today’s performance shows the progress we’re making. The team has done a fantastic job this weekend, and they should be happy because the car is getting better all the time.
“This is a nice little stepping stone for the future. Our aim tomorrow will be to score points.”
F1 Countdown for the Monaco Grand Prix is live on NBCSN from 7am on Sunday, before switching over to NBC at 7:30am ET for the race.