New McLaren "surprisingly good" in parts - Alonso

Fernando Alonso says some areas of this year's McLaren Formula 1 car are "surprisingly good", but admits there are still things that need improving.

New McLaren "surprisingly good" in parts - Alonso

Alonso joined the Woking team for the second week of pre-season testing in Barcelona, following the progress of the new MCL34 with which McLaren will compete in 2019.

Team drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz have topped a day of testing each, although the latter made it clear he doesn't believe McLaren is in a position to challenge near the front yet.

Although two-time champion Alonso has not driven the car, he has been hearing from the engineers and analysing the data in his new role as team ambassador.

"I think we are learning a lot," said Alonso.

"I was in contact with the team and I was aware of the debriefs and all the small problems and issues we were finding, and I think last week we confirmed the picture of the car, so I think there are a couple of areas that need to be revised and they need to keep developing to improve the performance.

"Some others are surprisingly good, so I'm happy with the results and generally I think it has been a very positive two weeks.

"It's not perfect yet, but I think the direction seems the right one," he added.

Read Also:

As part of his new role as team ambassador, Alonso will test this year's McLaren later on to help the team with its development.

Although he won't drive the MCL34 for at least several months, Alonso believes his feedback will still be helpful to both the team and its new drivers.

"I think this car that we are running now was born probably in June last year when we identified our problems, our weaknesses, our philosophies that were wrong with that 2018 car, and we started discussing and having meetings, simulator work for the 2019 car," said Alonso, who called time on his F1 career at the end of 2018.

"So now that 2019 is a reality and it is running on track and probably some of the results they are having they don't know the background of those changes or that philosophy that's behind that design.

"So I think that's something I can give my input on.

"Also, after 18 years I know most of the circuits, most of the tricks here and there and especially with Lando being [in] his first year, anything that may appear on a grand prix weekend, on a Saturday, on a Sunday morning or whatever, maybe to have a driver behind the engineers thinking probably helps, because they only see the telemetry.

"They analyse and they make decisions looking at the telemetry, but I can be the link between what they see on the data and what the driver may feel or what the message is passing on the radio."

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso

Photo by: Steven Tee / LAT Images

shares
comments
Hamilton critical of reduced free TV presence

Previous article

Hamilton critical of reduced free TV presence

Next article

Ticktum targets Red Bull F1 test in 2019

Ticktum targets Red Bull F1 test in 2019
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams McLaren
Author Pablo Elizalde
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021