It is too early for McLaren to switch its focus entirely to 2017 according to Fernando Alonso, despite the Spaniard conceding that they’re nowhere near where they need to be.
Although McLaren and engine supplier Honda have made big steps forward in terms of performance when compared to last year – they’ve scored 24 points compared to just four at the same point last season – they’re barely on the cusp of Q3 during qualifying.
Alonso, although admitting they’re a long way off their ultimate goal, believes there is plenty of improvement to come this season which will help them in ’17, and therefore says it is too early to switch focus entirely to next year.
“Obviously we want to be fighting for the World Championship,” he said on Thursday. “We are not in that position this year and we are making, I think, progress and we are moving in the right direction to achieve that goal in the future but still a long way to go for us.
“Definitely we need to think about next year’s car, next year’s project and put some focus on there and try to be more competitive next year,” he said, adding: “At the same time we cannot forget 2016 yet because we are only in June, many races to come, many good possibility to score points, to go a little bit higher in the Constructors’ Championship that will help the team also for next year.
“Some of the progress and updates we can bring this year will be quite useful for next year as well. Especially on the power unit side.
“That doesn’t change so much in the regulations. So, still working on both projects and still very motivated to score many points this year and to do a good season.”