Alonso claims reliability the only hurdle to points in Hungary

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Fernando Alonso believes reliability is the only hurdle that can stop him adding to McLaren's points total at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard scored the British team's first and so far only points of the season in Baku last month and has only reached the chequered flag in two races all year, retiring from the last race at Silverstone due to a fuel system problem.

Looking ahead to Budapest this weekend, the double world champion admits McLaren must take advantage of a rare race that negates much of their significant weakness and plays to their key strengths.

"On paper, the Hungaroring presents one of the best opportunities for us this year," Alonso claimed. "The short, twisty circuit means we are less reliant on outright power and the drivers have to really depend on the capabilities of the chassis to get the best out of the lap. 

"The temperatures are high and it’s a testing weekend for the teams and drivers – especially since the summer break is so close, but a good result can be a great boost for everyone going into the shutdown period."

As has been the case throughout the year for Alonso, McLaren and Honda, however: "The important thing for us, as always, is reliability," he added. "Even if our car could perform better in Hungary, we need to have a trouble-free weekend to take advantage of every opportunity for points."

The team has done all they can to try and optimise the soon-to-be 36-year-old's chances, writing off the British Grand Prix in order to have the recently updated 'Spec 3' Honda engine that has allowed Stoffel Vandoorne to be more competitive.

"We made some big decisions in Silverstone in terms of taking grid penalties in preparation for this race, and let's hope that paid off so we can put ourselves in the best possible position for points this weekend," the former Renault and Ferrari driver stated.

Honda F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa also admitted the significance of this weekend but is confident the progress made will allow both McLaren drivers the chance to perform strongly on a circuit they have both succeeded at.

"Despite showing improved competitiveness during the last few races, we’re yet to translate this into on-track results," the Japanese acknowledged. "Having said that, we’re pleased with our current development and we now head to Hungary feeling more positive about the race weekend. 

"The Hungaroring is a unique twisty circuit that should give us one of our best opportunities this season. Though it is not a power-oriented track, it still requires precise energy management throughout every lap of the race. It is also a track where overtaking is extremely difficult, so qualifying will be enormously important for us," said Hasegawa.

"We know we’re capable of a good result on this type of track, so our target is to reach Q3 and be in a good place to score points in the race. Fernando claimed his first Formula 1 victory at the Hungaroring, and Stoffel won there in GP2 in 2014, so our cars are in excellent hands."