Fernando Alonso adamant McLaren 'definitely moving forwards'

Fernando Alonso believes McLaren-Honda is “definitely moving forwards” after he qualified in 12th place for the Austrian Grand Prix, despite not using the latest engine specification.

Alonso and team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne were both equipped with Honda’s ‘Spec 3’ power unit, but a problem with the MGU-H was detected on Alonso’s MCL32.

As a result, Honda was forced to revert to the ‘Spec 2’ power unit used at the preceding event in Azerbaijan, though Alonso was still able to set the 12th best time in qualifying.

“I feel we did the maximum today – I’m happy with our laps, our result and our performance in general this weekend,” he said.

“We had an unexpected change of engine, and I reverted to the old spec today, so finishing P12 and feeling competitive all through qualifying was positive news.

“The team is working very hard to improve our situation: we bring aero updates to every race, we bring new engine specs whenever we can, and we’re definitely moving forwards.

“We still need to improve our reliability, but hopefully we’ll see further signs in the next couple of weeks.

“From 12th place, with a good start or a good strategy, we could be in a position to score points.”

Vandoorne, running the newer specification, will line-up from 13th position.

“The practice sessions have gone well and qualifying was more or less what we expected,” said Vandoorne.

“This afternoon’s times were extremely close: it all came down to a couple of small details – with another couple of tenths, we’d have been into Q3.

“So today really shows that every improvement we bring to the car is very valuable – it all helps.

“We’re definitely headed in the right direction - every new piece of performance we bring is welcome, but we need to keep pushing.”