Fernando Alonso feels he has enjoyed a “fantastic” first half of the year despite McLaren’s ongoing struggles in Formula 1 that have limited him to just two points finishes.
Ongoing difficulties with power unit partner Honda left McLaren struggling for both performance or reliability, rooting the team to the foot of the constructors’ championship for the opening 10 rounds of the year.
Alonso has spearheaded its charge with a number of impressive displays, reaching the points in Baku (P9) and Hungary (P6), but the Spaniard remains far off the front of the pack fighting for race wins and world championships.
Despite not sugar-coating McLaren’s plight, Alonso said his own first half of the year had been a particularly enjoyable one, having also featured in the Indianapolis 500 and expanded his personal go-kart track in Spain.
“Obviously as a team, we cannot be happy with the season so far,” Alonso said.
“We were making it into Q3 normally last year, ninth or 10th, that was our average position. This year we’re struggling a little bit more.
“But on the personal side, it has been a very, very good season for me. With the 2017 cars, I’m able to drive back again to my driving style, I felt much, much more competitive than in previous years. I’m feeling competitive out there on the track.
“I think it has been all season very exciting to drive these cars. In qualifying, we are getting some good lap times. It felt great to drive with this amount of grip and doing these timed laps.
“I had the Indy 500 which was a very nice experience. The go-kart circuit is going great.
“A fantastic first half of the season.”