Alonso arrived in Spain sixth in the drivers' championship as one of only three men - the others being Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel - to have scored points in every race so far, despite never starting higher than P10.
"We definitely made a step forward at this race".
Pre-season testing was not as straightforward as McLaren would have liked and its problems had a effect on the development on the vehicle. We just need new parts as soon as possible and to keep going in this direction.
"I'm happy with this step forward". In another way, this vehicle is supposed to be the Australian Grand Prix package and that delay on bringing the first improvements and having them not in the first race, having them here, probably put us in a hard position in the first couple of races.
"That is a positive thing, the correlation with the factory".
He remains hopeful McLaren can still close the gap on Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull, the three leading teams in the constructors' championship. Probably the downside of this is still the gap. So that delay in bringing the first improvement, and not having it at the first race but here, probably put us in a hard position in the first couple of races. The feeling was positive in the auto, and we ended up very close to Q3 - Fernando just made it - which shows the parts we've brought here are working well.
Alonso started 13th in Azerbaijan and dropped to the back of the pack after another auto collided with him on the first lap.
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"This package is making me happy". This auto was supposed to be the Australian GP package but we have brought it here to Spain.
"That delay, on the first improvement, and having it not at the first races, having it here, probably put us in a hard position in the first races". We saved them with a lot of points on Sundays with a little bit of luck and good races.
"The biggest thing here is how predictable everything is", said Alonso, who is dovetailing his F1 commitments with six World Endurance Championship events.
" I did some better races in the last five years, even if the last victory was five years ago", Alonso said.
"We've said many times that we can't expect miracles overnight, and there is a long season ahead of us, but we feel today's result demonstrates the first step for us in the progressive development of the MCL33".
"Hopefully tomorrow we'll put on a good show for all the fans".