With the season finale fast approaching this weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso sees this weekend as the end of a challenging season for McLaren.
After a few difficult weekends after engine problems in both Mexico and Brazil, Alonso and the team will be pushing hard to finish this year on a much more positive note.
“The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend represents many things for us at McLaren-Honda,” said Alonso. “The end of a challenging season and a significant learning curve; the opportunity to collect as much information as possible and continue our learning; and the start of the winter period where we are all focussed on working incredibly hard on next year’s package, and seeing more progress and results from our efforts throughout this year.
“Yas Marina is always an exciting racetrack to drive on, it’s one of those circuits that changes its character all the way through the lap, which makes it a lot of fun for the drivers. Abu Dhabi is a fantastic place to end the season and we are hoping to take what we can from the weekend and enjoy it as much as possible.
“After a few difficult weekends, we will of course be pushing hard to finish the year on a positive note, but the whole team knows the work we have to do over the winter. Every session this weekend will be an opportunity to learn more and take that development into next year’s car, so as usual we will continue fighting as hard as we can to the end.”
Even with a challenging set-up for the car, Jenson Button is hopefully of a more positive performance than Interlagos and believes the team can push for some points as it will be the boost for the team to end the season.
“It’s great to be heading back to Yas Marina,” said Button. “Not least because of the excitement and buzz that the fans bring and the incredible setting Abu Dhabi provides for a racing venue but also because it is the end of a long and challenging year for the whole team.
“Although we’ve had some difficult weekends over the past few races, the mood back at MTC is still very upbeat and everyone is already working hard for next year. It’s testament to the strength of our team that we continue to come out fighting every race weekend and Abu Dhabi will be exactly the same.
“It makes set-up a challenge and particularly for our package it’s not well suited, but we’re hopeful of a more positive performance there than we found at Interlagos. If we can push for some points in Abu Dhabi, it’ll definitely be a boost for the team to end the season and will reward all the efforts from every single member of the team over the past year.
“Our motivation is as strong as ever.”