JUNE 17, 2015
McLaren-Honda will not give up says Alonso
McLaren will not "give up" after a frustrating outing recently in Canada.
That is the claim of Fernando Alonso, despite being quoted in recent days suggesting the Honda-powered team should now switch its focus to 2016.
Although notably struggling so far this year, McLaren-Honda has made obvious progress but it faltered on the long straights of Montreal two weeks ago.
For the first time, star driver Alonso let his frustrations show, accusing the team of making him look like an "amateur" by ordering him to save fuel.
But managing director Jonathan Neale denied Alonso had been reprimanded for the outburst.
"No, Not at all. I like his attitude," he insisted.
"We've had too much of the super-controlled, super-smooth stuff. Just tell it as it is. We've just got to get on with it," said Neale.
Indeed, since the Canada setback, McLaren has reportedly offered to step up and speed up its support to Honda, the team's new works partner that is struggling with the steep learning curve of the complex 'power unit' era.
Austria this weekend, however, is expected to be another difficult outing for the underpowered MP4-30, despite the debut of a new bodywork package and 'short nose'.
And not only that, boss Eric Boullier has warned that McLaren is now considering "strategically implementing" further updates, presumably on the Honda side, which could mean grid penalties as per the long-life engine rules.
But Alonso said the team is still looking forwards.
"We expected Montreal to be difficult because of the nature of the circuit," he said, "but obviously a double retirement was especially disappointing.
"But just because a weekend doesn't go to plan, it doesn't mean we give up. We're still seeing great progress every weekend, and we hope Austria will be the same."