THIRD TIME LUCKY? Fernando Alonso poses for a photograph at the Montreal circuit ahead of the 2015 Canadian GP. Will he finally earn points for McLaren? Image: AP / Paul Chiasson
MONTREAL, Canada - McLaren's Fernando Alonso hopes the 2015 Canadian F1 GP on Sunday (June 7) will be third time lucky since his prrevious two predictions of points failed to end his drought with McLaren.
Alonso, who joined from Ferrari at the end of 2014, hasn't scored in any of the season's six races so far; team mate Jenson Button ended the team's 2015 points famine with eighth at the 2015 Monaco GP.
Alonso told reporters at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve: "After missing two opportunities I hope to be in the points - the third one will be the good one." We'll see...
TAKING ON FAST MONTREAL
If Monaco was a real chance - the slow and twisty street circuit allowed McLaren to be competitive despite its Honda engines being low on power compared to Mercedes, Canada is a fast track that takes a toll on engines and brakes.
Alonso said there was much to improve on engine and chassis but the former champion team had a good understanding of what was needed. That said, reliability needs to be a lot better given retirements in Spain and Monaco.
Honda, which started a partnership with McLaren in 2015, has spent two tokens in-season to improve its engines but Alonso questioned how much benefit that would bring in the near term.
"The engine is exactly the same this weekend as in Monaco," he said. "We did use two of the nine tokens but they are not for reliability reasons or some of the problems we faced recently. So, in terms of performanc, we should be exactly the same."
TOUGH WEEKEND AHEAD
Button, speaking separately to reporters, said he expected "a slightly tougher" weekend than Monaco. The driver, who won in 2011, said: "Canada is a great circuit and there's always a lot of action here, it's not a predictable race.
"In 2014 I started the second-last lap eighth and finished fourth. I overtook two cars through the hairpin and two cars crashed at Turn 1 on the final lap, so anything can happen - and normally does.
Who knows what the weekend is going to throw at us."