Fernando Alonso holds no interest in securing seventh in the drivers’ championship and says his full focus is on McLaren securing the best constructors’ position possible this season.
McLaren started the year strongly with double points finishes in three of the first four races, but its form has dropped off dramatically since, with only 18 of its 58 points having come from the past 12 rounds. Alonso has picked up 50 of that total, leaving him as one of five drivers covered by four points in the battle for seventh in the drivers’ standings. However, the Spaniard said that his focus is elsewhere.
“It means nothing to finish seventh in the championship,” Alonso 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.”
McLaren is currently 15 points clear of a Force India team that only started registering points in Belgium, its tally prior to that having been wiped out after it entered administration. In Japan the team struggled to match Williams for one lap pace, and sporting director Gil de Ferran admitted that it’s a tough situation.
“You never really know exactly where you’re going to be from a competitive perspective because they’re moving goalposts,” de Ferran said. “You never know how their car will react to different conditions. For sure you don’t know what developments people are bringing and how some of the things that you’re doing are going to work 100 percent.
“However having said that, we did expect [Japan] to be a difficult weekend. Personally, how do I deal with it? My competitive spirit makes me angry, quite frankly. At heart I am a competitor and I want to win, but I have to park that, and maintain the discipline, maintain the steadiness and so on and so forth. But believe me, I have a lot of strong feelings inside. I want to be competitive.”