Fernando Alonso dismissed his direct decision-making might concerning McLaren's internal restructuring, stating that drivers have just been 'consulted' but not majorly involved in the process. The Spaniard later discussed McLaren's main weaknesses and the way he operates within the team, giving feedback and sharing knowledge.
McLaren hit the F1 universe with a bombshell yesterday, by announcing Eric Boullier's departure from the team with immediate effect. Fernando Alonso has played a role in the team's reshaping, but today he told the media that his contribution has been far from a determiner.
“We are just concentrated on the race itself and we have to thank him for the effort and the years here. The team will move forward in the best possibilities, putting our full faith into Zak’s abilities."
"If Zak thinks that, it’s the best thing to do. I’ve always trusted the bosses, because they are the ones who have the information. We only drive cars."
"I was not consulted, I was informed about all the changes and the new possibilities, as well as Stoffel. I have more experience with Andrea (Stella), so Zak wanted my opinion, on Gil as well."
"It doesn't change anything, Andrea is sitting on the same position as he was before, running team meetings. Gil is more of a strategic decision for the future, but nothing life-changing."
Asked about McLaren's performance loss on the aero side, he said: "I think it was part of some regulations, we lost some devices that were on the cars last year. The team probably didn’t find the way to recover the losses from the rule changes, we lost ground on the aerodynamic side. We try to analyse all sessions, recollect the data from every session. Probably we gained on the power unit side in terms of reliability, as the highest number of DNFs this year came from chassis-related issues."
Fernando Alonso's experience can be functional to McLaren's recovery, as he has entered his 18th year in the category. "I have more experience than all the engineers on the track. My race engineer is in his 6th year in F1, my performance engineer has been here for four years, my tyre engineer for nine, whereas it’s my 18th season in F1. I try to give some feedback, recount my experiences from different teams, different conditions, but there aren’t any differences from the other drivers."
His personal receipt to make McLaren grow stronger is: "More downforce, more development, bringing new parts to the races: some work fine, others don’t, or sometimes you have nice surprises. In Spain we brought a new package with a new front wing and a new nose, we made a step forward, being both in Q3 and we were up to 7th in the race, so we need to try and keep that approach."
Although Red Bull and McLaren are equipped with the same power unit, the contrast between the competitiveness of the two is striking. However, it is no big deal for the double world champion, as many details have to come into place to make a team emerge. "Red Bull are in its 6th year without fighting for the championship, yet they are doing an outstanding job."
And finally you cannot not ask Alonso about his future: "I will see after summer what my ambitions are, obviously winning is my ambition as well as any driver’s."