JULY 10, 2016
McLaren-Honda to fight Mercedes in 2017 says Alonso
Fernando Alonso has switched his focus to 2017, reassured that he made the right decision to build up the new McLaren-Honda project over three years.
The Spaniard has been in the top ten with his improved Honda engine throughout the British grand prix weekend.
"Qualifying was always going to be more difficult because we don't have Mercedes' 'magic button'," Alonso told Spanish reporters at Silverstone.
"But we still got one car into Q3. Last year we were three or four seconds off or something so I think we can be satisfied.
"Of course we want to win, but only the two Mercedes can at the moment. Everyone else is just watching them, some are a little closer or a little further behind but with a poor progression so I prefer to be in this project which is really improving.
"Hopefully in the next races and especially next year we can be in the fight with them," Alonso added.
He said Honda's new engine has been a boost in Britain as has a revised front wing, while a "new aerodynamic package" is now planned for Hungary.
"The objective for this second part of the championship is to try to learn everything we can for the car next year," Alonso continued.
"So the feeling is of satisfaction, especially coming from the frustration of last year where the aim was to try to finish, cross your fingers, get penalty after penalty. This year we are learning with the car but at least in a fun way," he added.