Fernando Alonso: “We’re anticipating a tougher challenge in Abu Dhabi“

Credit: McLaren Media Centre

McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Fernando Alonso is looking forward to rounding off a difficult season, with a strong performance at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend.

With the final race of the year now upon us, Alonso would like to bring home some solid points in Abu Dhabi, so McLaren can go into the winter break on a high, in anticipation of a clean break with new power supplier Renault in 2018.

“As another season comes to a close, Abu Dhabi is a fantastic circuit to visit to round off another year of racing.

“It means there’s huge anticipation from everyone to perform well in the final race of the season, and it usually gives us great racing and we see everyone giving everything they have to finish on a positive note.”

The Spaniard is not expecting an easy race at the Yas Marina Circuit, as it does not particularly suit the strengths of the MCL32, but McLaren have surprised themselves at a number of tracks this season, including last time out in Brazil, and the double world champion will be hoping that is also the case here in Abu Dhabi.

“Yas Marina Circuit is a trickier one for us than Brazil. We had an unexpectedly good result at Interlagos, but we’re anticipating a tougher challenge in Abu Dhabi.

“Of course, the whole team wants to finish the season on a high, so we’re working hard to extract every last bit of performance out of the MCL32.”

Alonso is hoping they can optimise their performance this weekend by finding a strong set-up early on, allowing them to secure a good grid position in qualifying, which the Spaniard believes is all important for bagging a top result at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“Qualifying is crucial on this track because overtaking is tricky, so it’s important we get the set-up right as early as we can in the weekend.”

The McLaren driver is a fan of the Yas Marina Circuit, and enjoys the experience of driving from the twilight into darkness. As always, his main goal will be to push as hard as he can, to secure a positive result for the team, after yet another extremely hard fought, but frustrating year for the Spaniard.

“Racing on this circuit is a really special way to end the season – racing in twilight and then the dark, and in ever-evolving conditions makes it interesting for the drivers, and I’m sure this year’s cars will be super fun to drive around this track.

“I’m looking forward to it and I hope we can end the season with a strong result as a reward for all the efforts of the whole team this year.”