‘Extremely happy’ Alonso sees silver lining at Silverstone

Despite continued concerns about the underperformance of the 2018 McLaren, Fernando Alonso quietly clinched another valuable four points at the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

Once again it hadn’t looked promising going into the race. Alonso had qualified in 13th place, and the Renault-powered McLaren was clearly at a disadvantage to its rivals with Mercedes and Ferrari engines at the power-hungry Silverstone circuit.

“Saturday seems to be the lowest point of our weekend in terms of performance,” Alonso admitted. “But then on Sundays we are in the same group as Renault, Force India and Haas. [So] we definitely need to find more performance in qualifying.”

Given all that, he was happy to achieve eighth place on race day.

“We know this is a power-sensitive circuit, but we had the speed on the straights,” the two-time world champion said afterwards. “It was not a problem. The speed, and reliability was good again this weekend.”

While it was true that Alonso had gained several positions due to the misfortunes of others, he was happy to take whatever was on offer.

“We have more points for the team, which is great,” he said. “But hopefully we can reach that position in the future thanks only to our own performance.

“It was a hard day on track, a lot of safety cars that mixed things a little bit,” he continued.

“We decided to stop for the [soft] yellow tyres for the end and I think it was a great advantage compared to the people who were fighting around,” he noted.

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“They were with the old medium and the old blue tyre, the hard tyre. So we could overtake a couple of cars

Alonso’s biggest battle was with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen. “Kevin pushed us off the track at turn Seven,” he complained. “Without that I think we could have probably been fighting with Esteban [Ocon] and Nico [Hulkenberg] for P6.

“However, no penalty was given so we had to fight back, and overtook Kevin on the last lap.

“But yeah, starting P13, finishing P8 is great for us,” he summarised. “Definitely, definitely, extremely happy.”

Unfortunately Alonso’s team mate Stoffel Vandoorne finished just outside the points again on Sunday.

“On the positive side, the pace was probably a bit better today,” said the Belgian driver. “We were able to stay with some of the points-scoring cars like the Force India and the Renault, and were more or less matching their pace.

“It’s been a tough triple-header,” he observed. “Everyone is a bit tired at the end of these three races, so the mechanics deserve a good break. I’m sure they’ll check over everything and we’ll turn up in better shape in Germany.”

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