Fernando Alonso says that finishing in seventh and topping the midfield battle this season would mean absolutely nothing to him. The Spaniard will walk away from Formula 1 at the end of 2018, having spent 17 years in the series.
The double world champion has been without a competitive car for a number of years, last competing for the title in 2012. This year, the best he can hope for is finishing at the front of the midfield pack, seventh place. But that honour is of no worth to the former Renault and Ferrari man.
"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 driver's championship, really not too interested.”
McLaren's pace has dwindled as the 2018 season has worn on. At the start of the year in Australia, Alonso came home to bag a fifth-place finish. Now however, points are a rarity for the Woking squad as they have scuttled down to be backmarkers.
Alonso says that McLaren's focus on the 2019 car is the cause for the collapse in form: “Feeling-wise, it feels good,” he said when asked about 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.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing