Fernando Alonso admitted he knew this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps was always going to be difficult for the McLaren F1 Team with the package they currently have, and so it proved to be during Qualifying on Saturday, when he found himself eliminated in Q1.
The Spaniard, who announced during the summer break that he will not race in Formula 1 next season, ended seventeenth fastest in his MCL33 despite enjoying his fast laps, almost seven-tenths of a second away from Q2.
Alonso expects more struggles next weekend in the Italian Grand Prix but before then he needs to focus on the race in Belgium, which he hopes will see some variation in the weather so to be in a position to gain places and score points.
“We’ve lost a bit of performance in recent races, but on top of that we knew Spa would be quite a difficult race for our package in terms of performance, and so will Monza,” said Alonso, who will move up to fifteenth on the grid thanks to the penalties to Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hülkenberg. “We will try to defend here and attack on more favourable tracks.
“My qualifying lap today was enjoyable. Driving these cars on this circuit is always very special because they feel fast and grippy, but then you cross the line and your time is slower than your competitors, which means that tomorrow we’ll have to recover.
“We try to score points in every difficult situation so why can’t we score points again tomorrow? We need something special to happen, so maybe there is some rain coming that will give us a chance.”