Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Paul Ricard, 2018

“Slow” McLaren is suffering from lack of updates – Alonso

2018 French Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso says McLaren believed they would be able to reach Q2 in qualifying for the French Grand Prix.

However the team posted its worst qualifying performance of the year as neither of its cars got beyond Q1.

“The car was working but we were slow,” said Alonso. “It was nothing wrong with the balance, I felt OK with all the laps. The timed lap was not quick enough to be in Q2 so that was a disappointing day.”

“This morning at the meeting the team said we are between P14 and P15,” he added. “OK we are P16 but it’s not that we had expectations to be on pole. We know where we are and unfortunately we need to keep improving a lot.”

Alonso described his car as “slow” and said the team hadn’t brought many updates in recent races.

“I think it’s the same car for the last three or four grands prix. So we are slipping back and every race seems less and less competitive.

“We were P15 in Canada in Q1, we were on the borderline already. Here we are one step back. But even in Canada with that performance and that car we were on the points until we had the exhaust pipe on Sunday.”

Although he will start 16th, Alonso has set his sights on adding to his points tally for the first time since the Spanish Grand Prix.

“Saturdays has been a little bit down for us and Sundays up so tomorrow hopefully is one of those Sundays.”

“I think we need some help from the front runners to recover places. So far we’ve been in the points every single race. Only two retirements stopped us [scoring] points every single race so hopefully tomorrow we can be in that position again.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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Posted on Categories 2018 F1 season, 2018 French Grand Prix, F1 news, Fernando AlonsoTags , ,

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  • 22 comments on ““Slow” McLaren is suffering from lack of updates – Alonso”

    1. The lack of single-lap pace is baffling, but for some reason the McLaren is usually faster in race trim. It will be a tough race for them if overtaking is as difficult as expected.

    2. Alonso described his car as “slow” and said the team hadn’t brought many updates in recent races.

      At the risk of beating this topic to death, so no Freddo bars this weekend at Woking, I presume?

      1. It seems whoever it was complaining about getting Freddo’s, won’t have anything to complain about for a while. I hope he/she would like bitter aroma of Fernando’s better:)

    3. Since McLaren can’t change their engine supplier any time soon, they desperately need a change of key personnel to bring in fresh ideas.

      1. The current engine is the only decent thing on the car. Watching McLaren suffer like this is fantastic.

    4. Steven Robertson (@emu55)
      I share your pessimism about Mclaren’s fall to the back of the grid. I think they will be better in race, but still, to get knocked out in q1 must be a bitter pill to swallow. Changing personnel at this stage would mean admitting the team is in a full blown crisis, and even then, what could anyone new bring to the team that can be applied to that car in a few weeks? The lead time from finding an aero problem, to getting a solution on these cars is something like 2 months. I think this could be a season long battle and would not be surprised if Alonso just leaves F1 at the end of it for pastures new.

      1. Changing personnel at this stage would mean admitting the team is in a full blown crisis, and even then, what could anyone new bring to the team that can be applied to that car in a few weeks?

        @bonbonjai – if they decide to change key personnel, then their efforts would be better focused on the in-wash front wings for 2019, with the hope of getting a competitive edge at least there. Red Bull are not infallible, we saw how their expected dominance with the 2017 aero changes didn’t materialize, and it was only their (typically impressive) midseason development that improved their car.

        Yes, Alonso might leave, but McLaren shouldn’t be naïve that they can quickly develop a strong car that will help retain and satisfy Alonso, seeing their problems. In that respect, it might be better to run another driver, and mentally adjust themselves to the fact that they are like Renault a few years ago – a team with ambitions, but some ways to go.

        1. They have to do something, the teams in free fall.

      2. @bonbonjai @phylyp

        Combine this with the rumor that McLaren is ready to offer $20m for Daniel, and i think Fernando is really leaving the team at the end of the season. When the partnership with Honda was announced, and when they signed Fernando, it sounded as though they were ready to fly. They barely got off the ground; but they still thought they could fly. These performances have now bolted the team to the ground. Not sure if they have realized that the team is still a WIP.
        Stop disappointing Alonso, hire a technically sound/experienced driver (even Romain would be fine), use the extra funds for developmental purposes (2021 and beyond) and make your way up through the midfield. There is no no “overnight” solution.

    5. No Freddo for you, Freddo!

    6. I am shocked he didn’t describe his Q1 lap as his “best ever”.

    7. Mclaren:
      – Had the most unreliable car in pre-season testing
      – Didn’t had the package they planned for in Australia
      – Are falling behind in the development race

      I’m not one to say fire him and him and him and it will all be fine. Work is done by a group of people, not an individual. But when individuals at the top aren’t inspiring the work force to do well, all effort will be in vain. Something needs to change and if you’d ask me that starts with the Team Principle / Racing director and putting in place a charismatic and respected technical director. Martin Whitmarsh + James Key would be my choice.

    8. The car is well setup and balanced but just pure slow… why is there no updates?

      1. Balance is good enough because they add downforce to correct the handling.
        I suspect the weight balance between front and back to be far from ideal with a low fuel load.

    9. Maybe p19 and p20 will be soon.

    10. ‘Saturdays have been.’

      1. It’s a quote by Alonso, which is why it hasn’t been altered/corrected. A [sic] might help, but would visually clutter things up.

    11. Considering how good the drivers are at McLaren… how poor the car must be? Just amazing. They are genuine second last… only second to Williams it seems, but considering the lineup, they might be equally poor.

    12. Get rid of Nando. They can then use some of that saved money to pay proper bonuses and attract better talent and sponsors.

      They don’t need Brown, Eric or even a returning Whitmarsh.

      It’s interesting that McLaren are currently above FI, I wonder how long that will last.

    13. McLaren are not suffering from a lack of updates, they are suffering from being a shocking team. Alonso deserves better and though I would love to still see him in F1, he should go to Indy car for his tripple crown.

    14. McLaren’s best update was the two wheel holed floor car at Baku!

    Comments are closed.