Fernando Alonso feels McLaren F1 Team didn’t show their full potential in qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix.
The Spaniard starts from the back of the grid at the Sochi Autodrom due to grid penalties for using too many power unit parts and because of this, Alonso says the engine was not in qualifying mode as he just had to make sure he got within the 107% rule.
“In qualifying today we didn’t use our full potential because our starting position is already fixed due to the grid penalties we’ll receive,” said Alonso. “That meant I had two objectives this afternoon: setting a lap within the 107 per cent limit, and helping Stoffel with a tow along the straight.
“I didn’t go for a performance run: I used the engine in safe mode.”
Knowing ahead of the weekend that they would be starting at the back, Alonso admits most of the work done this weekend has been in preparation for the race and he hopes they can execute a good strategy and be in the hunt for points.
“Much of our focus has been on our race pace: hopefully we can execute a good strategy, look after our tyres, and look to be close to the points tomorrow.
“The tyres are looking a little tricky around here as it seems to be hotter than usual. We believe the softest tyre will suffer a little bit, so hopefully we’ll be in a position to benefit from that in the race.”