Fernando Alonso: “I felt we had the best car out there today”

Credit: Andrew Hone/McLaren

McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team‘s Fernando Alonso said he was happy with the performance of the car in Qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Spaniard set an impressive time during Qualifying 1, being two tenths off the fastest time in the session. But McLaren chose not to take part in the second session and save a set of tyres due to the amount of penalties both cars were to take for the race, meaning Alonso ended the session in fourteenth.

Alonso said that he was very happy with the performance of the McLaren MCL32 this weekend, even going on to say how they have the best car this weekend.

“I’m extremely happy with the performance of the car so far this weekend. It felt great yesterday and also today, with a lot of grip in the corners and it gave me some good feelings in the high-speed sections, too.” said Alonso.

“In Q1 we proved how strong we are on this track. Being only two tenths off the fastest time shows what a great job McLaren is doing. I felt we had the best car out there today. It was good fun!”

The decision to not run in Qualifying 2 was a priority to open up strategy for the Woking based team. With Alonso having a twenty place grid penalty for the race, meaning he’ll start from eighteenth place following penalties from team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne and Scuderia Toro Rosso‘s Pierre Gasly. Alonso says due to the penalty, overtaking will be a challenge for the race.

“Obviously saving some tyres in Q2 was the main priority today. With the straight-line deficit we have here, it’s going to be difficult to overtake tomorrow, which is the key point for us.”

“The penalty will hurt massively because starting last we will run behind traffic for the whole race, but we’ll try to be aggressive and if something happens in front of us we’ll take the chance.”