Alonso boosted by McLaren progress at British GP
After landing eighth at the British Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso was a happy man. Not only had the two-time world champion just secured his 200th points-finish, but he felt McLaren showed signs of much-needed progress…
By his own admission, qualifying has been his team's downfall this season and that was further highlighted at Silverstone when the Spaniard failed to make it to Q3 for the eighth time this season.
But rather than focus on the negatives, Alonso was boosted by the battle he was able to produce with his midfield rivals, having made up five places to finish the weekend on a high.
“We know this is a power-sensitive circuit, but we had the speed on the straights, it was not a problem. The speed, and reliability was good again this weekend,” said Alonso.
“And as I said yesterday I think Saturday is our lowest point of the weekend, definitely on Sunday it seems we can be in the group with Renault, Haas, Force India. On Saturday we’re struggling a little bit more, so we need to focus on that area in the next Grands Prix.
“We have more points for the team, which is great, but hopefully we can reach that position in the future thanks only to our own performance.”
McLaren took the opportunity to pit both drivers under the second Safety Car, brought out after Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean collided, and it was a strategy which Alonso believes paid off for the team at their home Grand Prix.
“Definitely, definitely, extremely happy. A hard day on track, a lot of Safety Cars that mixed things a little bit. We decided to stop for the yellow tyres for the end and I think it was a great advantage compared to the people who were fighting around.
“They were with the old medium and the old blue tyre, the hard tyre. So we could overtake a couple of cars. We had some battles with Kevin (Magnussen) that probably slowed down a little bit too much our pace, our recovery. But yeah, starting P13, finishing P8 is great for us.”
Stoffel Vandoorne, who jumped up to 11th due to Pierre Gasly’s post-race penalty, was also happy with the competiveness of his MCL33 challenger on Sunday.
“On the positive side, the pace was probably a bit better today. We were able to stay with some of the points-scoring cars like the Force India and the Renault, and were more or less matching their pace.”
Alonso’s eighth place added another four points on the board, and sees him lie eighth in the drivers’ standings ahead of the next round in Germany. With 200 points finishes, the Spaniard is just 21 shy of Michael Schumacher's all-time record...