Alonso targets ‘top five’ in Australia opener

Date published: March 22 2018

Fernando Alonso has set his sights high up the leaderboard as he prepares for his first McLaren race with Renault power.

McLaren's new relationship with Renault did not get off to the best of starts in winter testing as reliability issues continued to wreak havoc with the team, who suffered similar low points throughout their three-year spell with Honda.

But an upbeat Alonso is confident those issues are behind them and McLaren have a car that is capable of being the best of the rest behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

"Well, I think we should be optimistic," Alonso said.

"I think we had some reliability issues in testing but all of them are fixed now and the team did an amazing job in the past two or three weeks to have the car 100 per cent for Australia.

"I think being in the points, being close to the top five, I think that will be the best thing we can do to start the season.

"We need this good result to motivate the team and to keep working for the rest of the season."

Alonso also said that P4 in the Constructors' Championship has to be the minimum target for McLaren.

"I think top four is definitely a target for us and we know that Mercedes is a little bit ahead of everyone and is dominating the sport for the last four years," added Alonso.

"And they are the big favourites again to start the new season. But then we have Red Bull, we have Ferrari and definitely McLaren has to be the next team on that order."