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Alonso: Honda troubles led to a "united" McLaren

Written by  Feb 08, 2018

Fernando Alonso believes overcoming the problems during the troubled Honda partnership had one positive in creating a "united" McLaren.

The Woking-based outfit endured two of their worst seasons in history in 2015 and 2017 finishing ninth in the constructors' championship each time with last year's disappointment resulting in the ending of their collaboration with the Japanese manufacturer.

Returning to McLaren after eight years on the high expectations of success based on the history of the team and Honda, though it ended badly, the double world champion admits the atmosphere inside hasn't been stronger.

The last three years we all changed here in the team," he was quoted by F1i.com. "We all had some tough moments, we learned things, hard lessons sometimes because we had some painful retirements.

"The biggest thing I learned in the last three years was the speed of the team," Alonso continued. "They never give up. They were very united, very constructive, working flat out to bring even half a tenth for the next race even if we were fighting for 16th.

"That spirit in the team was remarkable, its something that I will keep for the long term, the team now is ready to perform at the best."

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Now with Renault engines from 2018 onwards, there are much greater hopes of a turnaround in performance with podiums and maybe a first win since 2012 being considered a target.

"We are quite optimistic, we know what Red Bull is doing with the Renault power unit," the 36-year-old said. "They are maybe not the fastest in qualifying but they are quite fast in the race.

"They’ve been on a couple of podiums, they won two or three races. With those kinds of results I think we will be very happy, if we are in the fight and if we can taste the champagne again."

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