As we head into the European leg of the Formula One season in Spain this weekend, the McLaren-Honda F1 Team are sitting ninth in the Constructors Championship; but have been making small steps of improvement during the first four races of the 2015 Formula One season.
With Fernando Alonso finishing eleventh; just out of the points at the Bahrain Grand Prix three weeks ago and his team mate Jenson Button failing to start the race due to electrical problems that were present during Qualifying in Bahrain. But this weekend sees Alonso looking forward to racing in his home Grand Prix this weekend; will also be seeing all his fans who will be coming out to support him in force, while also hoping that the Circuit de Catalunya is another step forward in performance for himself and his team.
“I’m incredibly happy to be heading back to Europe, to my home country and racing in front of the loyal Spanish fans,” said Alonso. “We’ve taken some useful steps forward during the flyaway races and I’m looking forward to getting back in the car after the three-week break and continuing our push.
“We are seeing improvements race by race, and I want to ensure that we maintain this consistency throughout this weekend. It will be very difficult, as other teams will also have been working hard to develop their cars too, but I’m hopeful that the start of the European season will be positive for us and allow us to carry momentum into the next few races.
“I really enjoy driving on this circuit – it’s high-speed and really tests the balance of the car, so we’ll be working to get that right as soon as we get out on track. There’s a huge amount of positivity in the team and all of us are working hard for better results in each race. Although we won’t be fighting for victory in Barcelona, I know I can count on the support of the fans to bring even more motivation during the whole weekend, which will be very special.”
Team mate Button is looking forward to racing in Europe after the first four fly-away races despite not starting the Bahrain Grand Prix three weeks ago but knows that it will be challenging to set the car set up right in order to be competitive while also developing the MP4-30 even further and building on the small steps in performance the team have achieved so far.
“Coming into Europe after four fly-aways and a three-week break is always an exciting feeling,” said Button. “It’s like the second phase of the season is beginning and, especially after my difficult weekend in Bahrain, I’m raring to get back out there and see how our car fares around this track.
“The Circuit de Catalunya is a great place to kick off the European season and a fun circuit to race on, with long straights, high-speed corners and tricky chicanes that require you to get the most out of the car throughout the whole lap. It really challenges the car and you need good balance and aerodynamic downforce to get the best consistency, and, ultimately, performance.
“It’s difficult to overtake there, so we’ll be working on our qualifying performance from the outset to try and push us up the pecking order. We’ve made good strides over the past few races, and that effort has continued right through the break between Bahrain and Spain, so I’m excited to see where we are and work with my engineers to keep pushing the boundaries of our previous performances at every opportunity. The key to all of this, though, is reliability, and that’s the most important element if we are to really push our package to its limits from Spain onwards.”