Fernando Alonso: “Monaco is such a special place”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Fernando Alonso is optimistic that McLaren-Honda can dial-in their car to suit the characteristics of Circuit de Monaco this weekend at the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix.

The 2006 Monaco Grand Prix winner had a disappointing race at the Circuit de Catalunya when his MP4-31 stopped on Lap 45, forcing him to retire from the Spanish Grand Prix. The retirement was found to be caused by a software command issue that cut the engine.

Alonso sees the Monte Carlo circuit as a real challenge to get the set-up correct because of its unique characteristics and is interested to see how the Woking-outfit measures up.

“Monaco is such a special place,” said Alonso. “I don’t think there are many drivers in the world that can say they don’t like racing there.

“Because it’s so narrow, and overtaking is almost impossible, it can be incredibly frustrating, but the feeling when you put together the perfect lap, or manage an overtaking manoeuvre, is all the more satisfying.

There has been a buzz around McLaren heading in to this weekend with renewed confidence that the team can make progress up the grid, especially in Monte Carlo after showing promise in the lower speed sections of Circuit de Catalunya during the last Grand Prix.

“It’s a real challenge to get the set-up right for Monaco because of its unique characteristics, but often we see some unpredictable racing there because the nature of it tends to shuffle the pack up.

“I’m optimistic that we can dial-in our car to suit the track because we have a very well-balanced chassis, so it will be interesting to see how we measure up when the circuit’s characteristics are more likely to play to our strengths.”