The new Formula One season is less than a month away. With teams finishing their pre-season testing in Barcelona, they will now fly out to Australia where the first race of the season will be held. The 2017 Formula One season has seen a lot of rule changes to make the car go much faster and McLaren's Fernando Alonso says he is relishing the fact that Formula One drivers no longer have to drive like 'small children'.
"The way you attack the corners, the way you feel the grip, has been a good surprise. To be able to drive the way you want and not like a small child so the tyres don't overheat - that's the best way to feel a Formula 1 car. So it's been fun to drive freely again. Now we just need to be as quick as the others on the straight," he said.
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Meanwhile, McLaren had a lot of engine trouble during the pre-season testing with their engines proving to be unreliable and slow.
McLaren will arrive in Melbourne for the first race of the season with the least number of laps completed and face a real problem as they look to get their engine issues sorted before the start of the 2017 Formula One season.
"They are trying to build a competitive power unit, but they do not have a Formula One culture. They are a big, successful company and they have their own ways of doing things. To devise a power unit in Japan is a challenge. That is why Mercedes decided to make theirs in England" McLaren's racing director Eric Boullier was quoted as saying.
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"We need a greater transfer of knowledge. They need to take on board the Formula One culture and to integrate that at all levels. You need to be fast in developing, as fast as F1 moves. Process, procurement, both need to be looked at," he said.
McLaren also face the possibility of losing Fernando Alonso at the end of this season if they cannot produce a quality car that can challenge the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull. The Spaniard has only a year left on his current deal at McLaren and may look for a new team if his car fails to deliver this season.
Alonso is 35 years old at the moment and his last world championship came in 2006. He will be determined to give it all as he approaches the last leg of his deal.
"I want victories and podiums and if it all goes wrong, I will attack next year. It will give me more motivation to continue. I feel I'm still the best driver out there," Alonso said.