Fernando Alonso: “It’s exciting to go back to Sochi”

Fernando Alonso arrives in Russia this weekend on the back of a challenging weekend in Japan, where the Spaniard was most-vocal about the standard of the Honda power unit, but admits there were some positives to take from the event, especially from a reliability point of view.

The Spaniard was heard over the pit radio a few times criticising how underpowered the car appeared compared to their rivals after finding it almost impossible to defend his position down the straights.

“Suzuka was clearly a challenging race for us, but the support of the fans was incredible and we were still able to take some positives from it,” said Alonso. “We’re working hard on reliability and it was encouraging that we didn’t have any issues with the car all weekend.”

The McLaren-Honda driver is excited to be returning to the Sochi Autodrom this weekend, and feels it is a venue that offers a great challenge to a driver as they try and perfect the corners to get the best from a lap.

“It’s exciting to go back to Sochi, one of the newest racetracks we go to, which means there’s always a lot of anticipation,” said Alonso. “Last year’s grand prix was a fantastic event and it was good to bring Formula 1 to a completely new territory and race in front of a new group of excited fans.

“Sochi is a great track and the street circuit layout and tight, precise corners make it really enjoyable to drive. The two straights are long and high-speed which means it won’t be easy for us, but our car is very well balanced, so I hope we can have some good battles and make some good progress on track this weekend.”