Topping midfield WDC would mean ‘nothing’ – Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso says finishing as the leading midfielder in Formula 1 this year would “mean nothing” in his final season in the sport.

The advantage held by Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull over the remainder of the pack means its six drivers comfortably hold those positions in the Drivers’ Championship.

But seventh onwards has changed hands several times this season, with several drivers having led the way; Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg are equal on 53, with Alonso on 50.

Alonso’s relatively high ranking in that battle is at odds with the dismal nature of McLaren’s season, with the squad slowest during qualifying at Suzuka.

McLaren holds sixth in the Constructors’ Championship and it is this position that Alonso is more concerned about as he enters the final four events of his Formula 1 career.

“It means nothing to finish seventh in the championship,” he said. “There is no point to have any plan for that.

“My only plan is to finish in the Constructors’ Championship as high as possible with McLaren.

“We have now a strong position. We have maybe no hope to catch Renault and Haas, but the gap between us and Force India and Sauber is reducing every race because they are very strong now.

“We will not let them catch us before Abu Dhabi, so that’s my main focus. The Drivers’ Championship, really not too interested.”

Alonso added that a lack of development, amid a focus on 2019, is to blame for McLaren’s worsening plight through this year. 

“Feeling-wise, it feels good,” he said of the MCL33. “The car it feels the same as last year. That’s probably the problem.

“The car is the same as last year, and 12 months later, the people make a lot of ground compared to us

“I think we constantly see new parts to the midfield guys every weekend, because we see their cars, we see the pictures you guys take of the cars etc.

“We see always updates to everyone, and from probably Spain, we don’t have any.”