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.
“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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2018 F1 season
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed
- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year