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McLaren season 'very bad' despite recent progress - Alonso

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Fernando Alonso calls it as he sees it, and labels McLaren's 2017 season as "very bad" despite the team's recent progress.

Like everyone at the Woking-base outfit, Alonso was hoping Honda would deliver the goods in the third season of its partnership with McLaren, and provide its drivers with a reliable and performing power unit.

But results fell dramatically short of expectations once again as Honda's efforts failed, resulting in another season to be written off for Formula 1's second most successful squad.

"I think it was very bad," said Alonso.

"It was not a good season, despite the progress that is noticeable we did with the car, and despite the optimism for next year.

"I think we all believe inside the team it will be a fantastic 2018 season – we have a better mood now in the team.

"[But] I think if we look back and we launch the car in McLaren in February - new regulations, four months to work on the engine, to power a little bit what we had in 2016, the hopes for this season were much different, from myself and from the team.

"Now, to be ninth in the constructors’ championship, to use nine engines until now, it cannot be a good season for anyone in the team."

Recent progress has started to take hold however, thanks also to the efficiency of McLaren's MCL chassis which Alonso has qualified as one of the best in the field.

"So far I think Mexico has been our best race," he added.

"We didn’t have any big things coming for Mexico, because it was only four days after Austin, so it could be just track specific. We need to see here in Brazil.

"But I think from Hungary onwards every step we introduced on the car was quite positive - even if in Spa, Monza, because of the layout we didn’t prove it, I think we are in the right direction.

"Definitely still a little bit [needed] to catch the top guys, in terms of also the chassis, but I think we are now optimistic.

"We know our strengths, we know our weakness, and we need to make sure that in March next year we attack all of them."

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