Fernando Alonso felt he got the maximum he could out of his MCL32 during qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix, with the Spaniard set to start twelfth on the grid on Sunday.
The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team racer, returning to Formula 1 this weekend after missing the Monaco Grand Prix in order to compete in the Indianapolis 500, was delighted with his performance, especially with the large power deficit the team have compared to their rivals around them.
“I think what we achieved in today’s qualifying was the maximum we could have hoped for,” said Alonso. “I’m happy with our performance – it was probably a bit quicker than we expected, actually, considering our power deficit.
“We’re in P12, not ideal position to start from, but I think our time compared to the pole time here is quite competitive for us. Obviously, we’d like to be further forward, but I believe we maximised the potential today with a good, clean lap.”
Alonso admits that the car itself has felt good to drive around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this weekend even with the power deficit, and although he will need to do some early fuel saving, he hopes to secure the first points of the year for the struggling team.
“The car has felt great so far,” said Alonso. “It’s been fun out there today, and the level of grip is very high. Even though the tyres are difficult to warm up, they’re very consistent and you can push throughout the run, so I think it’s going to be an interesting race.
“The key to tomorrow’s race will be performance and reliability, as always. We’ll have to do some fuel saving and keep an eye on engine cooling, so it won’t be easy. But the first priority tomorrow will be to finish the race, and, if we can be in the points, that’ll be great.”