Fernando Alonso hopes that finishing a race for the first time in the 2017 Formula One season at his home Spanish Grand Prix can boost McLaren's woeful campaign.
Alonso more positive after Mclaren improvement
McLaren's reliability issues looked set to continue in Barcelona as an engine problem stopped Alonso from fully participating in FP1 on Friday and he was slowest in the second practice session. The two-time world champion pulled off a shock in qualifying, though, reaching Q3 for the first time this season to start the race in seventh position.
But a collision with Felipe Massa sent Alonso into the gravel at the first turn on Sunday and he could only finish 12th – the first time he has passed the chequered flag this year. Nevertheless, the Spaniard remained upbeat and tried to stay optimistic about the remainder of the season.
"Yeah it was [a good weekend] in general, everything was positive," Alonso told Sky Sports. "We did finish the race, not in the points but we made a step forward in reliability and made some good moments. Hopefully this is the first step on our new championship."
Grand Prix break for Indy 500
Alonso will skip the Monaco Grand Prix in two weeks in order to race for McLaren-Honda-Andretti in the Indianapolis 500.
He said: "Now I'm tired from this race and I'm more thinking how to rest in the plane, because 9 o'clock [Monday] I'm at the circuit in Indy. The focus is on planning and logistics."
Jenson Button will take Alonso's seat for a one-off return in Monte Carlo, where Stoffel Vandoorne will have a three-place grid penalty for colliding with Massa in Sunday's race.