Fernando Alonso says 'surprise' Monaco podium unlikely

Fernando Alonso isn't expecting a 'surprise' podium in Monaco, but reckons McLaren can at least deliver a strong result this weekend.

The tight and twisty nature of the Monte Carlo circuit often lends itself to a surprise result, but Alonso fully expects the top few positions to be filled by the usual suspects that have so far dominated the opening five rounds.

"It's a different and very unique layout but at the same time there are not many surprises here," said Alonso. "It is never a place where you have a midfield team winning a race or a small team winning a race or doing the pole position.

"There is always a lot of expectation in Monaco but it is always a Mercedes, a Ferrari or a Red Bull on pole position. Three of these six drivers have been on the podium in the last editions, and I think it is going to be quite similar again."

Although Alonso's first McLaren podium since returning to the team might not be on the cards this weekend according to the Spaniard, Alonso is confident the team can at least deliver a good result and says the target is to finally get two cars through to Q3 on Saturday.

"It's an opportunity for some of the teams to do a good race, to score a good number of points – hopefully with both cars – but it's also quite easy to do a mistake and lose all those points. It's quite difficult to make a surprise but it's quite easy to make a mistake. It's a weekend that is important in all the aspects to execute well.

"I mean, this is a race that 99% of the race is on Saturday. Let's see, it's difficult to predict. I think last year the car was quite strong here, Stoffel was P6 in Q1, 7th in Q2, so I think P7 was possible last year.

"We saw in some circuits this year that we will perform better than we expect and some others we perform a little bit worse than we expect. Between P5 and P10 should be our target and to be in Q3 with both cars will be the target this weekend."