McLaren-Honda will take the first engine penalty of 2017 after changing the major power unit components on Stoffel Vandoorne's auto after FP1 in Russian Federation. He will start 20th tomorrow.
"I was extremely happy with the first qualifying lap". I felt competitive also in Q1, the lap was very good. I think the most important thing is that McLaren don't lose the heart and soul of what the team is all about, from when I loved them, before I joined them, and when I was racing for them.
Despite the disappointing start to the season and three retirements, Alonso insists he is driving better now than at any time previously in his career.
Drivers are allowed four of each engine component in a season before incurring grid penalties. "I really hope they find their way back to fighting ways".
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"I think it was 1.3s in the first sector and there's just one corner and we have no problems there, so that's what we have". Even if it turns out to be a one-stop race, it'll be a long afternoon - and, hopefully, there'll be some incidents or a Safety Car, which could create some scenarios that might play into our hands.
"We know the start of the season was hard for us with quite a few reliability issues".
"We had some engine problems again during practice one - MGU-K related - so it just meant we had to replace the engine and we're going to have a 15-place grid penalty this weekend", he said.
"So we'll try to have a ideal race but aware of our limitations". "Rest assured, we've lost none of our fight". "On the straights we lose 2.5-3 seconds on this circuit". From McLaren we'll have aero updates and I think in Spain the vehicle will be more competitive in terms of chassis. Both drivers tried various ride-heights and mechanical balances in order to find the best setting for qualifying at this circuit. As a result, Vandoorne was handed a 15-place penalty by the FIA for the change in Sochi.