Fernando Alonso says he is hoping to “turn our fortunes around” in Japan after a challenging string of events in the latest races.
Alonso failed to reach the chequered flag in Belgium and Italy, before receiving terminal damage in the first-lap drama in Singapore, a clash which has cost him a shot at a podium. Alonso trailed Vandoorne through qualifying and the race in Malaysia, classifying outside of the points in 11th place, as his team-mate finished seventh for the second straight event.
“I’ve had a couple of difficult races recently,” said Alonso, a two-time victor of the Japanese Grand Prix. “I’m looking forward to getting back on track and working with my engineers to turn our fortunes around. “I feel that we’ve definitely had the pace there in the car – and Stoffel has been able to demonstrate what we’re capable of.
“However, bad luck and struggles in traffic have meant we haven’t been able to score the points we’d hoped for on my side. “Both of us will be pushing hard for the Japanese contingent of our team, our partners and of course our fans, and I hope we can finally show the progress we’re making with our car.”
Alonso also labelled the figure-of-eight Suzuka track, the home venue for McLaren’s outgoing power unit partner Honda, as the “perfect racer’s circuit”.
“Suzuka is definitely one of my favourite tracks on the calendar, and along with a lot of the other drivers I always look forward to racing in Japan every year,” said Alonso. “It’s one of the classics and its configuration is completely unique. “It has a bit of everything – it’s demanding, fast, and a big challenge for a driver and for the engineers, so it’s the perfect racer’s circuit.”