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McLaren 'mustn't get complacent', says Alonso

Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren on the drivers parade.
© XPB 

McLaren's fortunes are looking up after a double points finish for Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne in the first race of the 2018 season in Australia.

But Alonso says that the team has got to continue to push hard in the next few races if it's to press home that new-found advantage.

"Australia gave us a positive feeling," he said after finishing in fifth place in Melbourne. "After a positive start to the season I’m already really excited to head to Bahrain and get back in the car.

"I hope we can continue that momentum as we head into these back-to-back races."

Alonso said that the key to that aim will be maintaining its rate of development over the coming months.

The team had been forced to delay the introduction of some updates to the MCL33 because of reliability issues encountered by the team in pre-season testing.

“I know the team are working hard back at the factory to push through the upgrades that are in the pipeline," said Alonso.

"These - along with the development work we’re doing on the chassis and with the power unit - are what will be key to unlocking further performance from our car.

“We mustn’t get complacent," the two-time world champion added. "These two races in Bahrain and Shanghai are tough on the cars.

"It’s important that we maintain good reliability if we are to maximise our potential," he stressed. "The competition is very strong and we need to keep pushing forward for more points.”

The team's sporting director Eric Boullier promised that McLaren wouldn't let up on the pace of developing the MCL33.

"We’re working hard to bring updates to the next two grands prix, which we hope will help our boys continue to put up a good fight.

"Our competition is tough," he acknowledged. "We can’t take anything for granted.

"Our principal targets are further up the grid ahead of us," he said. "We know there’s work to do and our focus is on the development race as well as the race on track."

Boullier added that the next two weekends will provide a better picture of the state of the teams.

“The back-to-back races of Bahrain and China pose very different challenges," he noted.

"Given that most of our personnel don’t travel back to the UK between them, both logistics and car development are two tricky issues that everyone needs to get on top of."

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