Alonso is yet to finish a race in 2017

Alonso targeting optimum result possible at home GP

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Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso simply wants to get the most out of his McLaren at his home Grand Prix this weekend in Barcelona.

The Spaniard, who's last win came for Ferrari at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya four years ago, is yet to finish a race in 2017 due to Honda's power unit woes but has previously found himself fighting around 10th place prior to retiring. 

However, with F1's return to Continental Europe also typically acts as a reset for the pecking order, as teams bring their first major development updates to their machines, Alonso admits predicting where McLaren will stand is a difficult question. 

“After a run of difficult races for us, I’m not sure what we can expect from this weekend,” he said. “We’re expecting some various new parts – which we bring to every race – but we can’t really focus too much on performance until we have solved our reliability issues. That’s always our focus.

“I know the team is working extremely hard to get to the bottom of our recent problems, and I am hopeful we can have a smooth race and a weekend with very few issues."

Regardless of where Alonso finds himself on the grid for Sunday's race, what is clear is making the finish in front of his adoring supporters is also a main priority for the 32-time winner.

“For me, qualifying has been an exciting session in the past few races and I hope we can repeat that in Barcelona, but the most important thing will be to maximise whatever grid slot we achieve on Saturday, on race day,” he added.

As for team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, the former GP2 champion is looking to build on his first finish of the year in Sochi and hopes it can act as a foundation for an eventual turnaround in form for the British squad.

“Although we weren’t proud of our performance at the Russian Grand Prix, we could still take some positives from the weekend and I’m pleased I was able to finish the race, after a few tough weekends,” the 25-year-old said.

“It was important for me to get some more mileage under my belt, and we managed to gather a lot of valuable information, which is helping to shape the development of both the chassis and the power unit as we continue through the season.”