Spanish McLaren driver Fernando Alonso has expressed optimism ahead of Sunday's Spanish Formula One Grand Prix and said he was looking to build on an improved result earlier this month. The 2005 and 2006 drivers' champion said at a press conference Thursday that he was confident that aerodynamic improvements to his McLaren MP4-31 would enable him to perform well at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and garner points for the second straight race, reports Efe.
"We've made some improvements, above all aerodynamic ones, and we'll see what happens on Sunday. We're more optimistic than a month ago," said the 34-year-old, who registered his first points of the season with a sixth-place finish at the Russian Grand Prix earlier this month.
"I think the car is improving and is becoming more and more competitive. I think the upcoming races will be good for us and we hope to keep improving."
Alonso was involved in a frightening crash on 20 March at the Australian Grand Prix, the first race of the 2016 F1 season, that left him with a partially collapsed lung and other injuries and forced him to miss the Bahrain Grand Prix.
He returned for the Chinese Grand Prix but earned no points with a 12th-place finish.
The Spaniard currently has eight points and is far off the pace of Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, who leads the standings with 100 points after winning the first four races of the season.
Asked whether interest in Formula One in Spain had declined because he has not been in contention for the drivers' title in recent years, Alonso instead placed the blame on the fact the races are no longer being shown on free-to-air television (the Spanish Grand Prix will be an exception).
"There's somewhat less media attention compared to a few years ago, but we still have a base of followers and it remains popular," Alonso said.