The Spaniard will start eighth on Sunday with only Kevin Magnussen's Haas between him and the top three teams, and says the upgrades the team introduced have delivered, but warned more progress was needed in the coming races. P13 in the last three qualifying (sessions) so it's definitely a step forward.
McLaren's Fernando Alonso says he's happy after qualifying 8th for the Spanish GP but admits the team need to push on with development of the auto. "I hope these new parts will help us to move things in the right direction".
"I'm happy with that".
"They've made good steps, they're fourth in the constructors' standings, but because of what they said at the start of the year you say maybe it's not what we expected".
"That is a positive thing, the correlation with the factory". Probably the downside of this is still the gap. "We just need more new parts as soon as possible". "They are in another league and we need to keep chasing and closing that gap race after race", Alonso said.
Alonso reiterated his view that the auto he is racing this weekend should have been available for the start of the season in Australia.
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"Making it into Q3 for the first time this season feels fantastic, and if you combine that with the fact we are at our home grand prix, it's a double benefit". This vehicle was supposed to be the Australian GP package but we have brought it here to Spain.
"This package is making me happy, but in another way, this auto, is supposed to be the Australian Grand Prix package - that delay, on the first improvement, and not having it at the first races, but having it here, has probably put us in a hard position in the first races. I'm happy for that, happy for the support and hopefully tomorrow we give them a good result".
Fernando Alonso was a victor on his World Endurance Championship debut last weekend but the Spanish Grand Prix is a reminder of just how long it has been since he last tasted success in Formula One.
The Briton raced with McLaren full-time between 2010 and 2016 before hanging up his helmet after a one-off appearance in the Monaco Grand Prix past year as he replaced the Indianapolis 500-bound Fernando Alonso.
"Always I come here and it seems it is bigger and bigger, people still as excited as every other year". They expect you to win and to deliver the result.
Will Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes make it back-to-back victories at the Circuit de Catalunya?