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Alonso: McLaren-Honda win would be the ultimate

NEWS STORY
15/09/2016

Fernando Alonso says that winning a race with McLaren-Honda would be the high point of his career.

The two-time world champion, who finished runner-up three times with Ferrari, had a torrid time in his first season back with McLaren in 2015, a year which marked Honda's return to the sport.

Slowly things are turning around, to the point where the team can not only talk of Q3 and be taken seriously, but even a podium appearance might not be totally out of the question, especially at a track known for springing surprises.

Having endured all the pain of the re-birth of McLaren-Honda, at times literally, Alonso wants to be there when things come good, and though he has warned that he will walk away from F1 if the new aero rules don't produce the buzz he craves, he admits that winning with the Woking outfit and its Japanese partner would be the ultimate.

"The first win with this project will be quite a big thing for all of us," he told reporters in Singapore. "I don't know if I will have that chance, or if Stoffel will have that chance. But when that first win arrives, everyone involved in this project from day one, from being ten seconds away in winter testing last year, to 5.8s in Australia in the first race last year, it will be a massive achievement, and we will feel very proud.

"To make that reality we need to work very hard over the next months," he admitted, "and we need to accelerate the process because in Formula 1 no-one waits forever. These things change quickly. New regulations are coming next year so you need to speed up everything in Formula 1 because there is no time to relax."

Asked whether he believes the gap to Mercedes can be closed for the start of the 2017 season, he admitted: "That's a very optimistic target. We will improve a lot for next year as we've learned a lot this year, as we did last year, which is normal. But this year we've had less reliability problems, and we were able to learn a lot more with the laps we've put together, so I expect a big step for next year in the power unit.

"There is a question mark about the aerodynamics and the interpretation of the rules," he continued, "so I expect a good opportunity to catch up. The hope for next year will not only be about being in the points... it will be much higher."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Singapore, here.

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1. Posted by You Started It!!, 16/09/2016 4:13

"That medication is too strong."

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