Alonso Hopes for ‘Step Forward’ with Renault-powered MCL33

Fernando Alonso with the McLaren Renault MCL33
Credit: McLaren Media Centre

Fernando Alonso has expressed his eagerness to return to the cockpit of a Formula 1 car this week after helping unveil the MCL33, the McLaren F1 Team’s first Renault-powered car.

The Spaniard has enjoyed a busier than normal off-season as he participated in his first Rolex 24 at Daytona as he got some valuable sportscar seat time as he prepares himself for his dual-campaign in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Toyota Gazoo Racing, but he is ready to drive a Formula 1 car for the first time since the end of 2017.

“My winter has felt somewhat shorter than usual, as I’ve already been in the cockpit for a 24-hour race, and several sports car tests!” said Alonso. “That said, I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car for the first time in three months.”

Alonso acknowledges just how important the MCL33 is to the team, particularly as it is the first since the departure of previous engine suppliers Honda, and he is looking forward to finding out just how the car feels on the track, with the first test of the season getting underway at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya next week.

“Looking at our new car, I feel incredibly excited – but also apprehensive,” said Alonso. “I know just how important this car is to the team, and I just hope that it delivers in the way we all want it to.

“If we’re able to develop the key strengths of last year’s chassis and marry it to an improved Renault power unit, then I think we’ll be able to take a step forwards. The car certainly looks very neat and well thought-out, and I think the new colour looks really great; really eye-catching. 

“I just want to get behind the wheel now!”