Alonso hails ‘big progress’


Concluding his 2016 campaign with a top-ten result, Fernando Alonso says McLaren-Honda have made “big progress” this year but admits there is still a long way to go.

The double World Champ brought his MP4-31 home in tenth place in Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

That single point pushed him up to 54 in total, handing the Spaniard tenth place in the Drivers’ standings.

“The race was good; fun, but difficult as well,” Alonso said of F1’s twilight race.

“There wasn’t really much I could do against the Force Indias and the Williams, but I fought until the last lap and got quite close.

“I’m happy with the point we scored, and pleased that we secured our positions in the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships.”

McLaren finished the campaign sixth in the championship on 76 points, a massive improvement on last year’s 27 points.

But with P1 the target, Alonso says there is still a lot of work to be done.

“Overall, this season has been positive.

“We’ve shown big progress compared to 2015, but we want to win the World Championship – and there’s still a long way to go before we can achieve that.

“Still, we have a long winter ahead of us, and we’ll make a huge effort in order to arrive in Australia with a more competitive package.”