The outlook for Alonso's 2017 season looks bleak after a series of Honda engine issues during pre-season testing have left his McLaren auto well off the pace of its rivals. "We have only one problem, which is the power unit", two-time champion Alonso told Sky Sports U.K.
"There is no reliability and there is no power. I don't think it is a deployment issue because there are many straights here, so in one straight or the other, you deploy until the braking point, and we lose 30 or 40 kph in every straight". I feel positive and confident in the auto - when I'm out on track I feel comfortable to push straight away and get the maximum out of it. "Everything feels good, but when you arrive to normal speed you don't know what is going to happen.". "It's clear that there's still a lot of work to do - where we stand compared to the others is extremely hard to say".
I get a positive feeling from the new rules, in general.
Fernando Alonso says he will not quit Formula One until he gets the results he feels he deserves. If everything goes in the wrong direction, I will attack next year.
"I don't think we are too far back with the chassis". Alonso also noted that they are still discovering little things about the vehicle, but there is nothing to worry for Australia.
And he says the subsequent problems have put them well behind their rivals ahead of the season-opener in Melbourne on March 26.
"The problems we're facing now are probably a bit unexpected and it's not ideal, but this is the situation so we can't sit still and do nothing". "The oil tank was quite an amateur problem that we had that day and then from day one we keep unlocking a little bit the situation in terms of power and in terms of reliability". You always learn from every lap you complete. We don't know exactly how the temperatures will evolve over 50 laps or so.
But the reliability concerns continue and the pressure mounts on team principal Eric Boullier, who was due to address the media alongside Honda chief Yusuke Hasegawa at the end of Day Three.
"The second priority is to be competitive, to eventually be in the battle for the top five, get to the podium and win races - everything we dreamed off for this year". We're hoping to get some solid track time as it'll be our last chance before Australia.
"As of today we may have even less power than past year, but we're running with settings that are not even close to the ones we'll use in Australia, for different reasons, for different problems we have in the engine".