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Alonso has explanation why McLaren struggles against some midfield teams

Written by  Jul 10, 2018

Fernando Alonso believes there is an alternative reason why McLaren has struggled to compete against Haas and Sauber in 2018, their affiliation with Ferrari.

The British team has slipped to even the second-last team in the pecking order in recent races as their problems with a draggy car also lacking downforce has left them struggling for pace.

Internally, there has been issues too, with Eric Boullier resigning last week as part of an overhaul by CEO Zak Brown, but at the same time, teams like Haas and particularly Sauber have been punching above their weight.

After qualifying at the British GP,  Alonso claimed there were now "three Ferrari teams" on the grid, as Haas enjoy a close technical partnership as do Sauber through Alfa Romeo with three of their cars taking the four midfield placings inside the top 10.

“It’s not simply that Haas and Sauber are ahead of the midfield group,” he told RaceFans. “They benefit, definitely, [from] some of the experience Ferrari has.

“I say that like everyone says that. In Australia, I said something about the Haas and it seems that only Alonso said something about the Haas.”

What he is referring to is the comments many made about similarities between the Haas and the 2017 Ferrari car at the start of the season, with the double world champion then dubbing it a "Ferrari replica".

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Interestingly, despite his claims that those associations are likely hurting McLaren, Alonso actually welcomes the increased competition.

“It’s good for F1 and for them that with the small budgets or fewer resources they are still being competitive,” he said.

“We don’t see the Sauber we saw in the last couple of years. This is more the Sauber we saw with [Sergio] Perez and [Kamui] Kobayashi in 2012.

“Sergio was doing a couple of podiums, I don’t know if this year it will be possible to do a podium or not with the Sauber but definitely they are going in the right direction.”

In the race at Silverstone though, Alonso, ever the opportunist, took advantage of problems around him to move up from P13 on the grid to eighth.

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