Fernando Alonso says he is able to maintain a positive outlook because he is “privileged” to be a Formula 1 driver, despite McLaren failing to score in the French Grand Prix.
After a strong points return at the start of the season, McLaren has not picked up a point in the past three races, with Paul Ricard the first time Alonso was not running in the top 10 when retiring. Although a suspension issue ultimately ended his race, Alonso had been outside the points after both McLarens dropped out in Q1 but he says he is not letting his head drop after a disappointing showing.
“I prefer to be last here than watch on television,” Alonso said. “We are two drivers doing the best job in the world and we were not competitive this weekend. As I said [on Saturday], we are very bad but we are seventh in the world championship. So something good maybe is happening.”
Asked how he remains so positive, Alonso replied: “I am surprised how negative you are.
“We are 20 drivers in the world doing this job. We come here, sometimes we are a little bit better, sometimes a little bit worse. But the question is how I manage to be positive, how I manage to smile, how I manage to breathe, to eat, to sleep! I manage quite well, you know. And I feel very privileged.”
Sounding frustrated over team radio when complaining that he was outside the points, Alonso clarified that the team had been giving him information he felt did not relate to his race.
“I think on the radio the team was definitely overexcited. Telling me the gaps with the fifth guy, the sixth guy, and I was last after the Safety Car and I had a problem with the brakes overheating. I had one set of tires for the while race because we stopped on Lap 1 to fit the yellow tires.
“So it was a defensive race and no frustration. But we know this weekend we have been quite uncompetitive, from qualifying both cars out of Q1 and now both out of the points. We need to raise our level for Austria and Silverstone. It is five days’ time only, so we need to find solutions.”