McLaren's Monaco pace has Alonso "feeling competitive" ahead of Hungarian GP

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Fernando Alonso admits the potential McLaren showed in Monaco earlier this year has him "feeling competitive" for the first time in 2017 ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Both orange cars made it to Q3 around the streets of Monte Carlo back in May but neither was able to capitalise as Stoffel Vandoorne slid into the barrier at Sainte Devote and Jenson Button collided with Pascal Wehrlein at Portier.

Alonso was Stateside participating in the Indy 500 that day but with Budapest's Hungaroring also heavily chassis-dependent, the Spaniard hopes he can match the pace shown.

“I think Monaco was also a great track for us, in terms of characteristics of it,” he said on Thursday.

“I was not there so for me it’s really the first time that I had the possibility of hopefully feeling competitive and feeling the possibility there to be in Q3 and then in the points.

“If something happens in front of us to get even a better result than this 7th or 8th that is the maximum you can fight for at the moment. So, it’s definitely an important weekend for us.”

Important because, other than Singapore and Suzuka, McLaren would have to rely on rain or a Baku-style race in order to challenge as strongly for points as they can in Hungary and try to move up from the foot of the Constructors' Championship, where they currently sit with just two points on the board.

Indeed, McLaren's own preparation for this race highlights how crucial they see this weekend to their season as a whole.

“We pay some penalties in the last two races to arrive here with more freedom of engine choices and something more in the pocket,” he said. “So hopefully it pays off this weekend.”