The team brought a major upgrade package for Alonso’s car last time out in Austria, but a series of technical issues and a first-lap collision with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen meant they were unable to get a clear picture of how much progress had been made.
And while the Spaniard expects Silverstone to favour the MP4-30 far more than the sweeping Spielberg circuit, he says the team are still somewhat blind as to what they can hope for in Great Britain.
“It is a question mark also for us,” Alonso said when asked about McLaren’s potential this weekend. “After Austria, we were not sure [about] the performance of the car. The new aero package feels more competitive - but how much we don’t know.
“So it will be interesting to see first if we can finish the race, and if so how competitive we are. We don’t know if we are 12th,17th or eighth at the moment. It is an answer we need to get this weekend.”
Alonso stressed, however, that reliability, rather than performance, will still be McLaren’s ultimate goal this weekend, even after the team racked up impressive mileage during the post-race Austria test.
“Obviously with testing it is easier to find reliability, because if you have any problems you stop, change and continue,” he said. “In the race you stop and retire.
“So let’s say that even if we did 100 laps, it is not that we solved all the problems. It is ongoing work. But I think we found some solutions in terms of performance and reliability, so it was very useful.
“Now we need as many laps as possible, especially with a new aero package. We have put in some old engines to avoid grid penalties, and that might limit the amount of laps we can do in free practice. But we need quality laps, to maximise performance, and see where we are.”