Despite a retirement on lap 50 of the race due to bodywork damage, McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Fernando Alonso felt as though the 2017 Australian Grand Prix was one of the best of his career.
“In terms of driving, I probably had one of my very best races today,” commented the Spaniard, who was involved in midfield battles with the likes of Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon for tenth place. “I was able to drive the car at my maximum; I felt confident, and I enjoyed driving the car throughout the race – I was able to push.”
However, the Spaniard’s enjoyment of the driving was marred by the underperformance of the car, which looked relatively poor in terms of performance, and is arguably the slowest in terms of straight line speed.
“Our car is obviously not very competitive at the moment,” which became evident during the race and also during testing, where reliability hampered running times, and the team failed to complete a race distance. Whilst there were improvements before the race, the team is still not where they were expecting to be – in the points and potentially achieving podiums.
“It’s disappointing to see we’re not ready to fight at the front – we need to quickly make some further improvements.”