Alonso positive with Austrian GP qualifying despite Engine Change

Fernando Alonso starts twelfth despite reverting back to a 'Spec two' Honda engine - Credit: Glenn Dunbar/McLaren

Fernando Alonso admitted it was disappointing to revert back to the ‘Spec Two’ Honda power unit on Saturday after running the updated ‘Spec Three’ unit on Friday, but he was happy to be competitive and qualify twelfth on the grid for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team missed out on a top ten position by 0.052 seconds despite running the older engine, but he has hopes that when the new engine does get used properly, he will be able to move forward even more.

Alonso believes that McLaren will benefit from rain during the race on Sunday, but he knows they need to take any opportunity that presents itself in any weather condition.

“A positive Saturday. I feel we did the maximum today – I’m happy with our laps, our result and our performance in general this weekend,” said Alonso. “We had an unexpected change of engine, and I reverted back to the old spec today, so finishing P12 and feeling competitive all through quali was positive news.

“The team is working very hard to improve our situation: we bring aero updates to every race, we bring new engine specs whenever we can, and we’re definitely moving forwards. We still need to improve our reliability, but hopefully we’ll see further signs in the next couple of weeks.

“From 12th place, with a good start or a good strategy, we could be in a position to score points. There’s some possible rain forecast for tomorrow – if that turns out to be correct, it’ll probably open up more opportunities for us. We need to be ready to take them…”