It was a somewhat disappointing Thursday practice on the streets of Monaco for McLaren F1 driver Fernando Alonso, who could not get the right balance in the MP4-31 throughout both the FP1 and FP2 sessions. A lack of grip was the main cause for concern, and something for the Woking based squad’s engineers to work on ahead of the remaining sessions.
The Spaniard is not downbeat however, believing there is definitely more pace to come from the McLaren going into qualifying on Saturday, and the double world champion is sure they will have the performance for a strong race on Sunday.
“We know this is a good opportunity for us in terms of circuit layout, so we perhaps expected to be a little more competitive in today’s sessions. On the other hand, we need to stay calm – it’s still only Thursday and there’s a lot of potential in the car to be found by Saturday.
“The balance was not right today: I had quite a bit of understeer so there’s definitely more lap-time to come from us. We’ll see the truth on Saturday, and I’m sure we’ll deliver when it matters.”
The Woking based squad were optimistic ahead of the Monte-Carlo race weekend, expecting the Monaco track to suit the characteristics of the MP4-31 and provide them with a chance of finishing higher up the order than they usually might. With a good portion of McLaren’s practice sessions being devoted to test work rather than posting fast times, the true pace of the MP4-31 looks like it is still to be revealed.