Alonso 'much better' than in title-winning years
11 August 2017 – McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso has described his 2017 season as "fantastic", despite his team's struggles, and feels he is a much better driver than in his title-winning years.
Alonso and McLaren anticipated a step forward this year but Honda's revised power unit has caused problems, amid a lack of performance and reliability, though recent updates have led to progress.
McLaren is above only Sauber in the Constructors' Championship, with Alonso holding 15th place in the Drivers' standings, courtesy of points in Azerbaijan and Hungary.
Despite the struggles, Alonso is pleased with his own performance, due to the revised regulations, his exploits at the Indianapolis 500, and the success of his kart circuit in Spain.
"As a team we cannot be happy with the season so far," Alonso said.
"We were making it to Q3 normally last year, in ninth [or] 10th; that was our average position, while this year we struggle a little bit more.
"On the personal side it has been a very, very good season for me.
"With 2017 cars I'm able to drive back again to my driving style, I felt much, much more competitive than in previous years, I'm feeling competitive out on track.
"I had the Indy 500, which was a very nice experience, my go-kart circuit is going great, it's fantastic, so a fantastic first half of the season."
Alonso, who turned 36 during the Hungarian Grand Prix, explained that he has had to adapt his training methods as he gets older, but feels that any loss is countered by greater experience.
"I think that physically it's not helping… you have more discipline of the things you do, have to prepare your training in a more precise way," said Alonso of getting older.
"You have to recover longer than what you used to do, playing football or tennis on a Wednesday or Thursday before a Grand Prix is now not any more possible as you have little pain here or there for Sunday.
"You learn how to prepare yourself for the race etcetera.
"Mentally, I think you are more prepared, you have more experience.
"You know how to deal with the starts, how to prepare the tyre for qualifying, how to prepare the tyres in the formation lap, how to deal with the pit-stop times, so you are a better driver.
"So putting the two things together, I think I'm much better today than 10 years ago."