Be it seismic changes at management level or the seemingly never ending issues with Honda, both Alonso and his Woking team have had a torrid time of it.
However, looking ahead to a new season, which features a new engine partner, the Spaniard insists he and his team are already feeling an increasing sense of confidence.
"We are very confident," he tells ESPN. "I think at McLaren we have made a few changes for this year, the most obvious being the power unit with the Renault, which I think is quite a high motivation now in the team.
"The mood for all of us is quite different this year compared to the last three years," he continues. "We always had expectations that the season could be a good one for us. But I think this year we have more facts than any previous years, that they were only hopes. This year we have more numbers that we can touch, finally."
After three years of heartache and frustration, much of which he shared with the watching world via his radio transmissions, the Spaniard is trying not to set any unrealistic targets.
"We would like to be on the podiums," he admits. "We'd like to be fighting for race wins if the opportunity arrives and I think the team now is ready. After three years of struggling, three years of hard learning, you are more prepared.
"I think if you have three or one domination year, one time you're not that competitive or you don't have that advantage, you are not able to deliver.
"I think the struggle that we had in the last three years made the team very strong and completely ready for a fight."
We certainly hope so.