Fernando Alonso was in a positive mood at McLaren’s car launch, having felt amazing after driving the MCL33 in Spain for the first time this season.
The MCL33 has a Renault engine and hopefully will make McLaren relevant in the F1 circuit this season.
It’s been a rough past few years for McLaren, having last won a Grand Prix in 2012(at the Brazilian GP). However, a change from the Honda engine to a Renault one could bring success back to the famed team.
“The good times are coming. It felt great. It’s always a special moment to drive the car for the first time. Everything felt good.” Alonso said.
Alonso credited the McLaren team for putting up a fantastic package together but insisted that the team had to work together during winter testing to optimise the package.
It’s an important moment for McLaren. After a couple of years of not fighting for the championship, it’s time to come back to that position.
“Now in winter testing we need to make sure we optimise this package but so far I’m very happy and very optimistic, I think the team did an amazing job the last couple of months.
“We have hard work to do now because with the Renault power unit, our biggest change this year from Honda, we had to make some changes in the car, some compromises in the rear end of the car so first we need to put the car on the track. We need to test it, we need to make sure we optimise the package and after that we will see how fast we can be.
“Definitely for McLaren and the amount of jobs that everyone did on this car, trying to fight for podiums and race victories, that will be our aim.” said Fernando Alonso.
Alonso hasn’t quite challenged for the title in his 3 seasons with McLaren, but hopes that he would be back in the mix this season. However, he feels that Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton start as favourites this season.
“It’s difficult to say right now because nobody knows where everyone is. I hope McLaren will be in the fight,” Alonso said when asked how the 2018 championship battle may pan out.
“If it’s not us then probably Mercedes and Hamilton because they are the world champions right now. They have to start as favourites, they will be the team to beat but hopefully McLaren can be right there.” Alonso concluded.