Alonso: This is more or less where we expected to finish

Alonso: This is more or less where we expected to finish

Fernando Alonso
photo: Andy Hone/McLaren

After an uncompetitive qualifying session, Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne will line up 16th and 18th respectively for McLaren in tomorrow’s French Grand Prix.

Neither driver complained of any issues with their cars but struggled to find enough pace to move them any further up the order. Both are optimistic of making up ground in tomorrow’s 53-lap race.

Fernando Alonso

“This was a disappointing session for us.

“Our performance has usually been so-so on Saturdays, with our average position in qualifying so far this year being 13th. That said, I have scored points in every single race I have finished, and hopefully, tomorrow will be one of those Sundays.

“There was nothing wrong with the balance of the car today; our lap-time was just not quick enough to make it into Q2. In our pre-quali meeting, we said we thought we would be around 14th or 15th, so this is more or less where we expected to finish.

“We know where we are, and, unfortunately, need to keep improving…”

Stoffel Vandoorne

“It’s very disappointing to see both cars eliminated in Q1. There was nothing particularly wrong with the balance – the feeling was okay – it’s just that we lack pace.

“Since the start of the season, there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes to understand what’s not working. We need to keep our heads down, keep trying and hopefully turn things around.

“This weekend has not been good for us – we need to do better. Hopefully, we can reverse the form of today and have a better race tomorrow.”

Eric Boullier

“Today was very disappointing.

“We came here with the intention of learning more about why the MCL33 lacks pace, and those tests have been useful and productive. But we still need to use that data to develop and build new components to help us move back up the order. And that will take time, particularly when there are these five races in such quick succession.

“Both Fernando and Stoffel drove well today, in slightly tricky conditions, and neither put a foot wrong. It’s now up to us to give them a car that’s more representative of their talents. Everybody at McLaren is working extremely hard to do just that.”