MARCH 20, 2016
2016 could put big dent in Alonso motivation?
2016 is a "very important year" for Fernando Alonso's F1 career.
That is the view of his countryman and friend Carlos Sainz jr, in the wake of McLaren-Honda's woeful 2015 season after Alonso made the switch from Ferrari.
"For Fernando this is a very important year," Sainz, who drives for Toro Rosso, told Spain's El Pais newspaper.
"If he sees progress, that will motivate him a lot with a view to 2017, when the rules are really changing."
But if McLaren-Honda does not make progress this year, Sainz admitted: "I think it would greatly complicate things and put a big dent in his motivation."
Alonso was notably happy on Saturday after qualifying twelfth in Melbourne.
"I'm very happy as we are much more competitive than we thought," he is quoted by Spain's AS newspaper.
"At one point we were tenth, ninth. With the same tyres and running at the same time we are among the top ten and that is a big surprise," Alonso added.