Alonso: Progress, not positions, important for McLaren

By on Thursday, April 16, 2015
McLaren Honda

McLaren Honda

Fernando Alonso says reaching Q2 is possible for McLaren at this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix but has played down such achievements, believing that overall progress is more important.

McLaren has yet to escape Q1 during this year's qualifying sessions but Alonso has stressed that the squad's first priority is to develop its Honda-powered MP4-30 as effectively as possible.

"The cars are very similar to China because there’s only four days from there to here," he said when asked by if Q2 was a reasonable target for the squad.

"Performance won’t change so much, but if track characteristics and weekend goes well for us I think Q2 is possible, but there’s many things we need to learn, there is a good programme of testing tomorrow with some aero parts in FP1, tyres and some other set-up changes in FP2.

"This is a key weekend for us to keep improving, not to concentrate on [being in] position 13 or position 15 or position 17 - this is a second priority so we can fight for important things, the position doesn’t mean so much, as long as we make sure the direction is the right one."

Alonso added that McLaren is still in the early stages of development but remains hopeful that the team will be able to compete higher up the grid when Formula 1 returns to Europe at next month's Spanish Grand Prix.

"This is a sport and we are in the middle of the championship so you are in the fourth race of the championship and is a test for us – [fans] don’t understand it," he said.

"But this is a sport where you cannot test, it’s like in football you go to the World Cup and you play with a basketball and they don’t allow you to test.

"It’s similar, so we have to adapt, hopefully from Barcelona we can enjoy a bit more. When we can be competitive? This is more in the long-term."

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