Alonso: I need to improve next year


Fernando Alonso admits he needs to up his game next year after a difficult 2015 campaign for McLaren-Honda.

Having returned to McLaren following a largely unsuccessful spell at Ferrari, Alonso has found life at Woking a lot more difficult as, instead of challenging for race wins and podiums, the Spaniard has found himself battling backmarkers.

Key to their woes has been Honda's inability to provide them with a fast and reliable engine while the double World Champion concedes he has also not been at his best.

"I need to improve for next year. When you're at the front and have more motivation, it helps," he said. "I am on, let's say, economy mode to have a strong season next year."

Despite their struggles this year, everyone at McLaren and Honda are confident they will take a major step forward next year, adding they have high hopes for the 2016 campaign. 

"Definitely it would be a frustrating year and sad news [if we don’t improve] because we have high hopes for next year," Alonso said. "I really trust the team and really believe we have the talented people and the resources to do well. If we go to testing and we have a bad car, first it will be a surprise for me, it will be a disappointment for me, but I don't there will be any problem.

"If it will be another year of learning and preparing for 2017, it will be sad to do that from the beginning, but that would be a surprise for me if we are not very competitive next year because we have everything and the car is responding well. Aerodynamically we have understood the direction to go and the car is improving. I can see when we are on the track how we are able to attack the corners and how fast we are in the corners, so I am not afraid that next year's car will not be at the top level.

"The engine is the question mark, but what happened in 2014 and the level that the other companies reached in 2014 and all these levels and learning we have in 2015 with Honda is much better, so I think we are a step ahead. The only question now is having a good winter."