PUSHING FORWARD: Fernando Alonso says McLaren-Honda won't give up just because of a rough patch. Image: AFP / Greg Baker
LONDON, England - McLaren will not "give up" after a frustrating outing recently in Canada.
That's the claim of driver Fernando Alonso, despite being quoted in recent days suggesting the Honda-powered team should now switch its focus to 2016.
Although notably struggling so far this year, McLaren-Honda has made obvious progress but faltered on the long straights of Montreal two weeks earlier.
For the first time, star driver Alonso let his frustrations show, accusing the team of making him "look like an amateur" by ordering him to save fuel. But managing director Jonathan Neale denied Alonso had been reprimanded for the outburst.
Neale said: "No, Not at all. I like his attitude. We've had too much of the super-controlled, super-smooth, stuff. Just tell it as it is. We've just got to get on with it."
Indeed, since the Canadian setback, McLaren has reportedly offered to step up and speed up its support to Honda, the team's new works partner that is struggling with the steep learning curve of the complex 'power unit' era.
Austria this weekend, however, is expected to be another difficult outing for the underpowered MP4-30, despite the debut of a new bodywork package and "short nose".
'STILL LOOKING FORWARDS'
And not only that, boss Eric Boullier has warned that McLaren is now considering "strategically implementing" further updates, presumably on the Honda side, which could mean grid penalties as per the long-life engine rules.
But Alonso said the team is still looking forwards.
Alonso said: "We expected Montreal to be difficult because of the nature of the circuit but obviously a double retirement was especially disappointing.
"But just because a weekend doesn't go to plan, it doesn't mean we give up. We're still seeing great progress every weekend, and we hope Austria will be the same."
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 Austrian GP this weekend.