Alonso keen to score 'much needed' points
30 July 2017 – Fernando Alonso has urged full concentration at McLaren-Honda in order to convert top 10 starting positions into "much needed" points in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
McLaren sits at the bottom of the 2017 standings on two points, three adrift of nearest rival Sauber, with engine partner Honda still working through reliability and performance woes.
However, at a more favourable Hungaroring venue, and amid steady progress, the partnership is enjoying one of its strongest weekends of the season so far.
As Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull locked out the top six places on the grid, McLaren was in the mix to be the 'best of the rest', narrowly missing out to Renault's Nico Hülkenberg.
However, with Hülkenberg taking a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change, Alonso and Vandoorne will start seventh and eighth.
"It's been a positive weekend so far for us as a team," said Alonso.
"We knew the top three teams would effectively be out of reach, so fighting for seventh and eighth was the maximum target we could aim for.
"And, indeed, that's where we'll start.
"There are no points to gain on Saturday, so hopefully we can convert those positions in the race and score some good points, [as] they're very much needed by the team at the moment.
"In terms of race pace we should be OK.
"This is a circuit where it's difficult to overtake; the tyres have low degradation so I think that, if we have a good start, we should have a good chance to maintain our positions."
Vandoorne, on his own upward curve, echoed Alonso's sentiments.
"We'd been looking strong all weekend, so it was good to get both cars in Q3 and to carry our pace through into qualifying," he commented.
"My car felt quite strong – it felt pretty good in the corners. I think we maximised the package we had.
"But the race is the most important thing: I hope we can get both cars into the points. Our pace has been inside the top 10 all the time so we're looking strong."