Jack Leslie  |    |   0  |  23 November 2016

McLaren has 'shown big progress' compared to 2015 - Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso says McLaren has “shown big progress” in the 2016 season compared to last year, after finishing the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 10th place.

The Spaniard qualified in ninth place for the 2016 Formula 1 finale at the Yas Marina Circuit, enjoying some close battles during the race.

He ended up falling behind the Williams of Felipe Massa, but crossed the line in 10th place to pick up a point in the last race of the year.

Alonso said McLaren had made strong progress in 2016 but admitted there’s still a long way to go before the team returned to the front of the field.

“The race was good; fun, but difficult as well,” he explained.

“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, so I’m happy with the point we scored, and pleased that we secured our positions in the constructors’ and drivers’ championships.

“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.

“It’s a shame that Jenson’s [Button] final race came to an early end, but he’ll still be around next year, and he’ll be a huge asset for us in his new role.

“Finally, I’m very happy for Nico [Rosberg]. He’s had a fantastic season and he deserved to be champion.

“He always believed in his possibilities and he managed his advantage perfectly. Both he and Lewis did a great job but it was time for Nico to win this year, as Lewis has three titles already.”

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