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Alonso tempers McLaren expectations ahead of Barcelona upgrade

Written by  May 09, 2018

Despite what has previously been dubbed the introduction of the actual 2018 McLaren at this weekend's Spanish GP, local hero Fernando Alonso has tried to suppress expectations.

Formula 1's first race in Continental Europe always sees a reset for the pecking order as teams bring their first significant upgrade packages of the year, and after having to re-assess their design in the wake of problems in testing, McLaren is one team most will have eyes on.

So far, a lack of single lap pace in qualifying has always left the British team having to recover with no top 10 starts in any of the first four races and the double world champion doesn't anticipate a major improvement.

“I know we have some developments in the pipeline, but we also know there is no magic bullet that will propel us to the front of the grid overnight," he said.

“There has been a lot of work happening at the factory and there is still a lot of work to do – so in Barcelona it’s a chance to evaluate some new things, see where we are and determine the direction that we take with car development as we progress through the season.

“As always, and especially after the battle we fought in Baku, I’m really looking forward to pushing hard on track again this weekend in front of my home fans.”

Alonso is well-known for usually overexaggerating McLaren's potential, whether it be suggesting they would fight for wins or even a tilt at the world title.

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It is those somewhat unrealistic ambitions that former driver Jenson Button concedes can often cause the Woking-based team more harm than good.

“McLaren came out last year and this year and said they think they might have the best car. It’s a tall order to have the best car in F1 when you’re racing against Ferrari and Mercedes and Red Bull," he told Sky Sports.

“So you’d say the season so far is a disappointment but if they didn’t say they had the best car you’d say it’s a great season for them.

“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.”

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