MAY 10, 2015
Alonso disillusioned but not dark and moody
Even McLaren's dark new livery could give the British team a boost.
British newspapers report that the switch from chrome to 'graphite grey' in Barcelona has resulted in an up to 3kg weight saving for the MP4-30.
"Everybody is looking to shave off time in any way you can," confirmed managing director Jonathan Neale, who said the former chrome finish was 'multi-layered' and therefore heavier.
McLaren is focused on constantly taking "small steps" at the difficult start of the new works Honda era.
Fernando Alonso, for instance, remains curiously upbeat about the future, even though many of his supporters in the Barcelona grandstands are wondering why he left the resurgent Ferrari team.
Ferrari's technical chief James Allison told La Repubblica that he tried to convince the Spaniard to stay.
"No. I couldn't do it," the Briton said.
"I explained to him that things would change, that the new car was good, the gap would decrease, that staying with us made sense. But he was too disillusioned by then," Allison explained.
"I was the tenth person that had said it to him -- he had heard it for years and no longer believed it."
Alonso, however, insists he is much happier now that he wears 'graphite grey'.
"If you think that we were four seconds behind in Australia and now we are fighting to get into Q3," he is quoted by El Confidencial. "It's almost a miracle.
"The potential is enormous and we are slowly finding the keys and opening locks," Alonso added.
Indeed, teammate Jenson Button says Honda is yet to spend a single performance 'token' in 2015, as it improves the radical 'power unit' in other areas for now.
As for paddock claims that Alonso is "dark and moody", Button does not agree.
"I heard he was not easy to work with," the Briton told Spain's Marca, "but I've had no problem.
"We both have experience, we've both been through great moments and terrible moments, so there is probably more respect than there is between some other drivers.
"No, I haven't seen that," Button smiled when asked about Alonso's 'dark and moody' character. "If he's like that, I haven't seen it yet!"
Finally, Alonso dismissed reports he could miss Sunday's Spanish grand prix because of his eye infection.
"The eye is a little bit big I guess," the constantly sunglasses-wearing 33-year-old said late on Saturday, "but driving is ok, no problems. It should be fine."