Alonso warns against high expectations in Singapore

Fernando Alonso has warned against having high expectations of McLaren’s potential at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

McLaren performed well at the Belgian Grand Prix following a power unit upgrade from Honda, with Alonso finishing seventh in the race having started from the back of the grid. While Monza saw the team fail to score, McLaren will still relatively competitive, leading to increased expectation of what will be possible on a street circuit in Singapore.

Asked if qualifying in the top six is possible this weekend, Alonso replied: “I don’t think so.

“Let’s see how it goes but I think top six is very optimistic, with two Mercedes, two Red Bulls and two Ferraris I think those six positions are more or less fixed in every race and I don’t think that here will be different but after that I think it opens the possibility that probably we are fighting for.

“This is different compared to Spa and Monza where we were not able to be in Q3. I think here we should be in Q3 if everything goes OK and also both cars in the points on Sunday.

“We really need that and we really want to achieve that to consolidate also a little bit the constructors’ championship in front of Toro Rosso, they will also be strong here so it’s an interesting weekend for us and I think from now on after Belgium and Italy I think all the races should be in the points and we need to start delivering that result here.

“On paper there are better circuits coming but then you need to execute the race properly. Last year we came here with some optimism. We were 12th and 15th in qualifying and two DNF in the race so it’s not as easy as it seems.”

Pushed on whether a better result is possible in the race, with the top five or even a podium suggested, Alonso reiterated his belief the top three teams are too far ahead of McLaren.

“I think it’s very difficult with Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull’s performance right now. We will try to do our best probably it’s a little bit over-optimistic feeling about the chances here for McLaren because also last year I remember we were not competitive but here we were 12th and in Abu Dhabi and in Austin we were eighth in qualifying, so I think there are better circuits than Singapore for us coming this year but saying that also I think this weekend we can perform quite well and being in the points is the target.”

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