Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Paul Ricard, 2018

McLaren is “not the worst team” says Alonso as he hits out at negative coverage

2018 Austrian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso says the media’s coverage of McLaren’s performance this season has “exaggerated” the team’s plight in Formula 1.

Both McLarens failed to progress beyond the first phase of qualifying in France, which was the first time neither car has reached Q2 this year. However Alonso insisted the team’s performance was better than some media has presented it.

“A weekend like that, the only problem is the media attention it attracts,” Alonso told media including RaceFans in Austria. “Everything is exaggerated, especially in Formula One with all the polemics and all the things you need to sell every week.”

“We had a quite poor weekend in terms of performance. We were uncompetitive on Friday, uncompetitive on Saturday, uncompetitive on Sunday. We are the first ones [to] know that. We realise that and we want to improve that.

“At the same time we are not last. We are not getting worse and worse. We are not the worst team in the paddock. We are not all these things that we’ve been hearing for the last three days.

“We are fifth in the constructors’ championship, I’m eighth in the drivers’ championship. All the other ones that are doing a perfect season, they are behind us, so maybe they are not so perfect and we are not so bad.

“We understand we have been uncompetitive and we are the first ones that want to improve that.”

Alonso pointed out the team’s race performance in Paul Ricard was better than its results indicated.

“If you see the results we were not good on Sunday,” he admitted. “But if you look at the race trace we were quite competitive on Sunday.”

“I started last, I respected the track limits in lap one so I was last. And then I changed from the back-up tyre for the yellow tyre on lap one, I was keeping the pace of the whole mid-group.

“After the incident with Vettel I was last by 10 seconds and even with that when Sainz and Magnussen did a pit stop they were just in front of us. So the pace of the whole first stint was very similar to Sainz and Magnussen which was definitely not [the case] on Saturday, [when] we were 1.5 seconds behind them.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 13 comments on “McLaren is “not the worst team” says Alonso as he hits out at negative coverage”

    1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      28th June 2018, 17:30

      “Not the worst team”, though boasts a larger budget than most of the grid, has arguably one of the best current active drivers, a reputation for being able to outdevelop problems and an engine that’s won races. Not the worst sure but certainly massively underperforming.

      1. @rocketpanda, Indeed, they might not have had the worst speed on Sunday, if you twist reality like Alonso does, but they sure underperform mightily for the budget they have.

        1. And yet when one considers that F1 is hard, and they’ve only had a third of a season with the new marriage with Renault, I’ve got all kinds of patience for them.

          1. Ok, but toro rosso is, everything considered, at a similar level as last year, why can toro rosso change engine without issues but mclaren, a much bigger team, can’t?

    2. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      28th June 2018, 17:31

      He’s right. They are slowest after Williams.

      Being serious, they are still doing decent but they need to up their game otherwise other teams are going to beat them regularly. They’ve already lost out to Renault, if they aren’t careful they could find themselves behind Force India

      1. Yeh sure decent…

    3. Worst car perhaps.

      Worst team however goes to Williams.

    4. What worries me most is that the team nearly halted development upgrades for the last couple of races and then they admitted they don’t know what’s wrong with the car, that they can’t find issues on wing tunnel.
      Freddogate just makes it more evident that the team is somehow lost into this aero flaws in the car.
      From recent Boulier interviews, it seems they decided to put most of their efforts on curing these issues at the expense of car upgrades.
      So, from now on, it’s a matter of how quickly they manage to solve the issues and resume car performance upgrading

    5. Not the worst, but they seem to get worse and worse as weekends go by. And they are not ahaed of teams that had perfect seasons, in fact they are ahead because they capitalised on the misfortune of others, especially Haas.

      In China Alonso bragged about McLaren being the only team to not have experienced any kind of problem, which essentially put them in the place they are both in the WCC and WDC. We fast forward to today, that immaculate season is now three DNFs in a row, one shy of the 4 they managed with…Honda!

      The contradictions keep coming, the excuses and of course the self praise.

      Something is fundamentally broken at McLaren, amd they need to get on top of it asap. Maybe they really need Kimi, to put some ice on things

      1. Surely we can put some of their woes down to a new marriage with Renault that should take some time to evolve if F1 is hard like we expect it to be. We are not in the eras of the past where one could more easily slap in someone else’s engine and away you go. It’s far more complex than that, as we know.

        1. shouldn’t we assume they would improve as the year goes by then, doesn’t seem to be the case. Toro Rosso has made a better job of the same situation, it is down to their resources?

          Nice to see however the excuses are already lined up. What is going to be next year? We lost Alonso? There is no continuity? We fired Eric Boulier, we need stability now?

          It is getting ridiculous really

    6. The polemic coming out of McLaren and Alonso has certainly changed drastically. Perhaps they should have started with this more “humble” approach.

      After all, as Robbie points out above, its a totally new pu package and surely nobody expected race wins straight away.

    7. Saying you’re better than Williams isn’t saying much, Alonso.

    Comments are closed.