STICKING TO THEIR GUNS: McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso urged his team to not yet shift their focus to 2017, but instead continue developing the 2016 car. Image: AP / Luca Bruno
Baku - Fernando Alonso wants the McLaren-Honda team to continue developing its current car and not shift the focus of their work to 2017.
The two-times world champion from Spain said on Thursday that he understands the temptation to switch focus, but urged McLaren to keep working for progress this year.
Several teams are considering how best to split their resources ahead of the rule changes and faster cars to be introduced next year.
Alonso said: "Obviously, we want to be fighting for the world championship and we are not in that position this year.
"But we are making progress and moving in the right direction to achieve that goal in the future. There is still a long way to go."
READ: Alonso to decide F1 future in 2017?
Spaniard Alonso continued: "We need to think on next year's car and next year's product and put some focus there to try to be more competitive next year, but at the same time we cannot forget 2016 yet. We are still in June and there are possibilities to go higher in the constructors' Championship.
"Some of the progress with the updates that we can bring this year will be useful for next year especially on the power unit side. We are still working on both projects and motivated to score many points this year," he concluded.