Alonso: We expect a steep learning curve

Returning superstar says he’s ready for Honda challenge.

Alonso: We expect a steep learning curve
Fernando Alonso, McLaren Honda
Fernando Alonso, McLaren Honda
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MP4-29H Test and Reserve Driver
Fernando Alonso, McLaren Honda
Fernando Alonso and Ron Dennis, Chairman & CEO of McLaren

Fernando Alonso says he has “never felt better” ahead of a new season as he prepares for his return to McLaren – but the Spaniard acknowledged that there's still a lot of learning to do.

“Although the winter period is a time for rest and relaxation from racing, my motivation could not be stronger for the new season,” said the Spaniard. “I’ve done a lot of training during the winter break, to reach my peak physical fitness, and I’ve been working hard in preparation for this new era of McLaren-Honda. I’ve never felt better, or more ready for a new season.

“Of course, we’re prepared for a steep learning curve, but it’s clear to see that inside McLaren-Honda there’s total commitment, and a real change in feeling, as we start this new partnership. We’re all focused on the challenge ahead, and I feel extremely honoured to be part of a relationship that has shared so much history together. My aim is to help write a new chapter in the history of McLaren-Honda.

“We understand the effort and teamwork required to take McLaren-Honda back to where it should be, at the front of the grid, and all our energy as a team is focused on that goal.”

Braced for testing difficulties

Alonso says he expects winter testing to be challenging for the new partnership.

“Our first target will be to learn the maximum from the car at the pre-season tests, understand the package, and extract as much performance as possible. That won’t be easy or trouble-free, but we’re ready for that. Why? Because our key focus will be on development.

“Historically, McLaren has already been characterised by its ability to bring updates to the car quickly, and develop a strong package. It’s going to be a real privilege to be the first person to drive the new McLaren-Honda MP4-30 at Jerez, and I can’t wait to begin what I’m certain will be a very exciting new chapter in my career. I’m as motivated now as I was when I was given my first opportunity at the wheel of an F1 car.”

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