Alonso upbeat over ‘aggressive’ new McLaren

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LONDON: Fernando Alonso said the new McLaren-Honda MCL32 revealed on Friday looked “fast and aggressive” as the Formula One outfit looks to close the gap on rivals in the upcoming 2017 world championships.

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Alonso, who will race alongside Belgian youngster Stoffel Vandoorne this year, said he couldn’t wait for the new season to get underway in Australia in late March.

McLaren Honda Belgian Formula One driver Stoffel Vandoorne (right) and Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (left) posing for a picture. AFP PHOTO

“What I’ve seen of the MCL32 appears to be really promising — the new regulations seem to be well thought-out, and the cars look fast and aggressive,” the 2005 and 2006 world champion said.

“The aim is to look respectable this year—and I’d like to think we can achieve that,” added the Spaniard, who was sixth last season as his team came 10th.

The new-look model with a longer nose and bulkier tyres features an attractive retro colour scheme of orange and black and was unveiled at the outfit’s Woking base.

“We’re fully focused on returning our team to the top step of the podium—a task we view as a multi-year project,” executive committee principal Mohammed Bin Essa Al Khalifa said.

Racing Director Eric Boullier did not mince his words when he stated that the team’s ambition was “to narrow the delta between us and the front-running teams”.

McLaren have not won a GP since Jenson Button took the Brazil race in 2012, while their last world title was with Lewis Hamilton in 2008.

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