MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Fernando Alonso has played down reliability concerns about the new Renault-powered McLaren, saying problems that arose during pre-season testing have been fixed and the car will be “100 percent” ready for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
After switching to the Renault power unit after three gloomy years with Honda, McLaren’s MCL33 suffered more glitches and completed fewer laps on the test track than any other team.
World - Champion - Alonso - Formula - Year
However, double world champion Alonso, who considered quitting Formula One last year as McLaren slumped to ninth in the constructors’ championship, said the car’s gremlins had been banished in time for Sunday’s race at Albert Park.
“Well, I think we should be optimistic,” the 36-year-old Spaniard told Reuters at a Melbourne event held by McLaren sponsor Chandon.
Reliability - Issues - Team - Job - Weeks
“I think we had some reliability issues in testing but all of them are fixed now and the team did an amazing job in the past two or three weeks to have the car 100 percent for Australia.
“I think being in the points, being close to the top five, I think that will be the best thing we can do to start the season.
Result - Team - Rest - Season
“We need this good result to motivate the team and to keep working for the rest of the season.”
McLaren, dominant in the late 1980s and early 1990s with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, have not won a race since 2012.
Giants - Title - Lewis - Hamilton - World
The fallen giants’ last title was with Lewis Hamilton, who has won three world championships since at Mercedes, in 2008.
The Honda engine’s struggles with power and reliability led to McLaren announcing the split last September. The striking papaya orange and blue MCL33 is the team’s first to be powered by Renault, whose engines took Red Bull to three...
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