Friday 20 September 2019

Alonso hoping F1 rivals will struggle in Spanish GP


Fernando Alonso. Photo: AP
Fernando Alonso. Photo: AP

Jack de Menezes

Fernando Alonso is hopeful that McLaren can gain ground on their Formula One rivals at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, and that the upgrades introduced among their rivals "don't deliver" as planned in the hope of regaining the ground lost over the first four races of the season.

McLaren have endured a tricky start to this year, particularly in qualifying, with Alonso securing a best of fifth place in Melbourne and three subsequent seventh-place finishes, while team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne managed eighth in Baku last time out after three straight 14th-place finishes.

In stark contrast to that form, Alonso returned to the top step of the podium on his World Endurance Championship (WEC) debut on Saturday as he triumphed in the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps alongside former F1 drivers Sebastian Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, with the Spaniard also driving for Toyota this year along with his grand prix commitments.

But with his McLaren cap back on for this weekend's return home to Barcelona, Alonso hopes that the grid-wide upgrades planned for Sunday's race do not work out for their rivals as much as they do for the Woking-based team - or else risk falling even further behind.

"In Barcelona there is a new aero package coming, but I think 95pc of the paddock is bringing a new aero package to Barcelona," Alonso said after his WEC triumph at the weekend.

"So, maybe the gap remains as it is, or we just recover a little bit, or we lose more ground. Who knows? I think it is up to us to make that package work to expectations and hopefully some others, they don't deliver. That is our hope." (© Independent News Service)

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