Alonso 'excited but apprehensive' ahead of new season

Alonso 'excited but apprehensive' ahead of new season

Asked to give a message to the McLaren fans after his first run in the MCL33, Alonso said: "The good times are coming!" The team hopes the MCL33 marks a significant change in fortunes having not been on the podium since the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, or won a race since the season finale in 2012.

The vehicle certainly looks very neat and well thought-out, and I think the new colour looks really great; really eye-catching.

'I know just how important this auto is to the team, and I just hope that it delivers in the way we all want it to.

Although Alonso is excited about the new car's potential he is refusing to get carried away until he has seen it on track.

'Looking at our new auto, I feel incredibly excited - but also apprehensive, ' Alonso said following the launch.

"I also want to acknowledge the loyal support of our long-standing partners including Chandon, NTT Communications, Hilton, Richard Mille, Norton Rose Fulbright, SAP and all our official partners and suppliers".

While uncompetitive in partnership with Honda, McLaren was confident in last year's auto concept and so has continued along similar lines with its latest chassis, with the team stating "much of the work on the MCL33 has been around optimizing the packaging of the new Renault engine, and the incorporation of the new halo device".

McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier said he was "under no illusions" at the challenge facing the team.

"I think the whole team feels proud of this auto", Boullier said.

"We are looking forward to racing them and the rest of the field".

"It will be hard to splinter the hegemony at the front", he said. We are humble about the challenge ahead, but feel we've prepared well, have a solid package that we can build upon and exploit as the season progresses.

"At McLaren, we are all racers - pure and simple".

And the new McLaren is a successor to the MCL32 chassis which the team believed would have been a frontrunner in 2017 but for the crippling lack of power provided by its unreliable Honda units.

"The advantage of the Renault layout means that we can push the engine forwards, but then you have the compressor at the back of the engine, so you've got to get the outlet pipes forward without impacting the packaging".

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