Fernando Alonso took pain at the last race in Malaysia so the McLaren Honda partnership could put on a good show in front of their home crowd, something which was lacking last season given their ‘GP2 performance’.
It didn’t really pan out that way, with the team solidly locked outside the top 10, humbled by the impressive qualifying performance of Haas which propelled them up the order. After a string of good results for the team, Alonso was disappointed in the performance even with the upgrade parts on the car, which wasn’t enough to make up.
With everyone finishing the race, it was only a 16th place for the Spanish former World Champion, not where he wanted to finish:
“Our race today reflected the whole weekend: it was just anonymous.
“To finish 16th and 18th today is a rather nasty surprise, especially after finishing seventh in Singapore, and seventh and ninth in Malaysia, just last weekend.
“I hope this was an exceptional and unique event, and that we’ll return to business as usual at the next race, in Austin. “It was clear that the layout of the track didn’t suit our package – we lacked downforce through the faster corners.
“I know our car is in fact much more competitive than we were able to show today, and I’m obviously disappointed about putting on such a poor show at Honda’s home race. But we’ll head back home, analyse what happened, and bounce back from this disappointment.”
Jenson Button had an even worse weekend, stuck at the back of the field after an engine change which was due at Austin, he struggled to even get ahead of the Manors in the early part of the race, before making his way up to 18th.