Fernando Alonso believes his McLaren F1 Team can challenge for regular podiums in 2018 following a barren three seasons with Honda.
McLaren’s high-profile switch from Honda power to Renault has given Alonso the confidence that they can emulate Red Bull Racing‘s recent success with Renault’s power unit and regularly “taste the champagne”.
When asked by crash.net about his predictions for the up-coming season, Alonso said:
“In terms of results, it is always going to be difficult to predict,
“This is Formula 1, it is not mathematical that you know in advance. Anything can happen. Even the favourite ones, the champions, Mercedes cannot guarantee that in 2018 they will be fastest.
“But we are quite optimistic, we know what Red Bull is doing with the Renault power unit, they are maybe not the fastest in qualifying but they are quite fast in the race.
“They’ve been on a couple of podiums, they won two or three races, so with those kinds of results I think we will be very happy. If we are in the fight and if we can taste the champagne again.”
The two-time world champion said that the disappointing performances of the past three years has made the team more motivated than ever before and believes McLaren is ready to return to winning ways.
“I think in the last three years we all changed here in the team.
“We all had some tough moments, we learned things, hard lessons sometimes because we had some painful retirements. The team now is ready to perform at the best.
“The biggest thing I learned in the last three years was the speed of the team, they never give up, they were very united, very constructive, working flat out to bring even half a tenth for the next race even if we were fighting for 16th.
“That spirit in the team was remarkable, its something that I will keep for the long term.”