Top three teams are in a league of their own, says Alonso

Jenson Button Fernando Alonso F1 news

"We had been P13 three times in a row and today we took that step forward we needed". Alonso will start eighth Sunday.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso says he's happy after qualifying 8th for the Spanish GP but admits the team need to push on with development of the vehicle.

"He added: "[I'm] definitely happy with the step forward for this race. In another way, this auto is supposed to be the Australian Grand Prix package and that delay on bringing the first improvements and having them not in the first race, having them here, probably put us in a hard position in the first couple of races.

When's the Spanish GP on Sky? The feeling was positive in the vehicle, and we ended up very close to Q3 - Fernando just made it - which shows the parts we've brought here are working well.

Alonso reiterated his view that the vehicle he is racing this weekend should have been available for the start of the season in Australia.

The Spaniard was just four hundredths of a second slower than Kevin Magnussen who took the "best of the rest" slot for Haas, but the lead McLaren was nine tenths off Daniel Ricciardo's sixth-placed Red Bull.

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McLaren has never hidden the fact that its aim for 2018 was to top the midfield and close the gap on the top three teams. Probably the downside of this position is still the gap. It's a step in the right direction and we need to keep improving like this in the next races.

"That delay, on the first improvement, and having it not at the first races, having it here, probably put us in a hard position in the first races".

"Definitely felt good. It felt a long time not being on the podium and it has been a good preparation", said Alonso, who will also compete in next month's 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he said victory would mean more than a home triumph this weekend. We saved them with a lot of points on Sundays with a little bit of luck and good races.

The McLaren driver is combining his F1 duties with racing in the World Endurance Championship with Toyota this season and won on his debut last weekend at the Six Hours of Spa.

" I did some better races in the last five years, even if the last victory was five years ago", Alonso said. They reset what has happened in the first races and they come here and they expect you to win and deliver the result.

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