Fernando Alonso: “It’ll be a tough battle against our nearest rivals”

World © Octane Photographic Ltd. McLaren Honda MP4-31 – Fernando Alonso. Saturday 28th May 2016, F1 Monaco GP Practice 3, Monaco, Monte Carlo. Digital Ref : 1568CB7D2023 - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Fernando Alonso scored the McLaren F1 team’s highest points finish so far this season,when he ended the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix in fifth place last time out. It was a strong drive from the Spaniard, despite the Woking based squad struggling with tyre management throughout the race, and the double world champion believing they did not really have the pace.

With competition becoming tight in the midfield, Alonso is hoping McLaren can rise to the challenge and put in a strong performance in Montreal.

“I really like spending time in Canada and going back out to North America. Although it falls within the ‘European’ season, the atmosphere does feel quite European – the people are friendly, the food is great and it’s a melting pot of different cultures.

“There’s really strong competition emerging at the front of the grid, as teams are getting stronger and pushing their development. It’s a really tight pack in the midfield, and a different team seems to have the advantage at each circuit, so it’ll be a tough battle against our nearest rivals both in qualifying and the race.

“The teams need to work hard to set up the cars to meet the demands of the circuit, and a lot can happen during the course of the grand prix, so let’s see what we can do.”

McLaren had hoped they would be more competitive in Monaco, but tyres issues have been a stumbling block for them so far this season, with the pressure level restrictions causing them concern as they look to find performance through ongoing development.

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is not a track that will suite the MP4-31 in theory, but the Woking-based squad will strive to produce the best performance they can muster, and hopefully take home some more points in the process.