Fernando Alonso has called on McLaren to take every risk possible during this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, saying the Formula 1 team has “nothing to lose” amid ongoing struggles with engine partner Honda.
Issues with the Honda power unit have left McLaren battling towards the back of the grid, appearing to take a step back from the progress that was made through 2016.
Alonso has been dragging the MCL32 car as far up the grid as he can, with his charge to P10 in Australia before retiring late on being deemed as exceeding the team’s expectations.
The Spaniard continued to impress in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, telling the team he was “pushing like an animal” en route to P13 on the grid, having little regard for pushing over the limit.
“[I took] all the risks that are available out there. There is nothing to lose for us,” Alonso told NBCSN after qualifying.
“If we have a spin, if we are on the grass for one moment, we abort the lap and we seem not to lose too much.
“The expectations before qualifying were very pessimistic, we were uncompetitive in FP3 and we thought that Q1 was our maximum target.
“But surprise surprise, we are 13th and we need to take this position and hopefully take any opportunity tomorrow.”
Despite lapping less than a second slower than Red Bull, Alonso said there was “not really” any comfort to take from the result, leaving him praying for rain in Sunday’s race.
“Yeah I think with dry conditions it’s unlikely we can score points, so I think wet conditions should help us,” Alonso said.
“We’ve raced here a couple of times in those conditions, so hopefully we can take advantage of those.”
The Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 1am ET.