JULY 20, 2016
Alonso says 2017 title is the goal
Fernando Alonso is still not ruling out a tilt for the 2017 title.
Soon, McLaren-Honda will welcome its new chief executive to Woking - current VW racing director Jost Capito - and Spaniard Alonso agrees that the German has a big task ahead.
"There are many things that need to be improved to be able to return to the top," he told the Italian magazine Autosprint.
"Aside from the power unit and aerodynamics, there are still many small mistakes that we're making every day during the race weekend," Alonso explained.
The 34-year-old doesn't hide that he might have expected slightly faster progress with the new McLaren-Honda project after switching from Ferrari.
But Alonso insists: "I knew from the beginning that it wouldn't be easy. We started from a very low point with the performance of the power unit, but in terms of preparation, a lot has been done in a very short time."
Indeed, he claims McLaren-Honda's improvement this year has been better than any other team, and tips that big steps in performance are next.
"That (performance) will arrive next year," said Alonso.
He admits that a key to 2016 was Honda's decision to replace Yasuhisa Arai with Yusuke Hasegawa.
"Let's say that with the new organisation structure came faster progress," said Alonso.
"The new boss came directly from racing, in the past he was an engineer and is more open to new ideas and a new philosophy.
"Things have improved," he added, "but we are aware that we are at least eight months behind the planned targets.
"For next year we want to win the world championship," Alonso revealed. "It may sound strange being where we are, but that is the goal."