Fernando Alonso believes the performance of McLaren’s MCL33 should improve near term thanks to extensive aero development work conducted recently during Friday’s free practice sessions.
Despite its switch to Renault power this season, McLaren has failed to deliver on expectations, pinned down by its slow 2018 design and its clear aerodynamic weaknesses.
Alonso revealed that the Woking-based outfit dug in deep during the last few races, using the majority of its Friday track time to analyse and test various solutions to improve the performance level of its MCL33 chassis.
“We are working very hard and very deep into the weakness of the car,” said Alonso.
“In Barcelona, we introduced a new package with a new front nose and different things and we recovered a little bit so we performed well in Barcelona and Monaco.
“But then we came back to our original problems and lack of performance.
“Now, after investing three or four Friday FP1s doing just aero development and aero understanding, we know that maybe we compromised the race weekend a little but we get a lot of information.”
The Spaniard also said that a large portion of that information and the collected data will help the team get a head start on its 2019 design.
“Now we are at the point that we know exactly what to do,” he said.
“There are some fixes for this year but let’s say that 70% of the knowledge and the understanding of the car will be for next year’s project because it requires time – three or four months development and wind tunnel time etc – that is probably better to invest for next year.
“Sometimes it’s good to go very deep into the problems and down in performance to understand the car.
“So I see a much clearer and brighter future now with all the problems and all the understanding now.”