McLaren-Honda Formula 1 Team driver Fernando Alonso has said that the team deliberately took grid penalties at Silverstone to give them a better chance at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
The McLaren-Honda team has been plagued with reliability issues so far this year, with grid penalties for replacing parts becoming almost routine – the worst of which was in Baku, when the team took a 70-place grid penalty, with forty of those places levied against Alonso.
Alonso said that the team took grid penalties at Silverstone – a fast, demanding track – over Hungary as they have more chance to be competitive and take points at the Hungaroring.
“We made some big decisions at Silverstone in terms of taking grid penalties in preparation for this race, and hope that’s paid off so we can put ourselves in the best possible position for points this weekend.”
The Hungaroring is a much shorter and narrower track than Silverstone, meaning overtaking is far more difficult and setup is key. This, in the eyes of Alonso, means McLaren-Honda is in with a real chance of scoring points in the Hungarian Grand Prix – so long as they have no more issues during the race weekend.
“On paper, the Hungaroring presents one of the best opportunities for us this year. The short, twisty circuit means we are less reliant on outright power, and the drivers have to really depend on the capabilities of the chassis to get the best out of the lap.
“The important thing for us, as always, is reliability. Even if our car could perform better in Hungary, we need to have a trouble-free weekend to take advantage of every opportunity for points.”
Alonso currently sits seventeenth in the standings, having taken McLaren-Honda’s only two points this season so far.