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Alonso ‘excited’ about return to Monaco after two years

McLaren driver missed 2017 Monaco GP to take part in Indy 500

Monaco Grand Prix – McLaren’s Fernando Alonso says he’s exciting about returning to the streets of Monte Carlo after missing last year’s event.

Alonso missed the 2017 Monaco race in favour of a one off appearance for McLaren-Honda at the Indy 500. He was replaced by Jenson Button for Monte Carlo, but Alonso is back in action for this year’s race, and the Spaniard couldn’t be more excited:

“Heading back to Monaco will be really exciting after a little break last year! I loved the Indy experience of course, but Monaco is also a really special place to go racing, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a famous venue for a grand prix. It’s one of the most technically challenging circuits of the year simply because of the level of skill and concentration you need to get around lap after lap 78 times, as well as negotiating the traffic, strategy, weather and everything else this crazy race throws at you.”

McLaren made a major upgrade package for their MCL33 that was first run at Barcelona last week, with continuous fine tuning of the changes through the in-season test. Running two cars between their own test programme as well as carrying out Pirelli testing with the old spec car led Lando Norris to declare the upgraded car a definite step forward and, with Monaco meaning driveability and traction is more important than sheer power, Alonso says a good result is possible:

“I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel there for the first time in two years and seeing how our car performs. For sure, we know the limitations of our package, and a slow-speed track such as this requires a totally unique set-up compared to anywhere else on the calendar, but it’s up to everyone to adapt and get the most out of our equipment. 

“Monaco is one of those tracks that tends to level the playing field a little and it’s a bit like throwing a dice. As we saw in Spain, even if you qualify well it doesn’t mean you won’t fall victim to drama which can change things around. So, we need to maximise everything on Saturday, and then fight hard on Sunday to earn as many points as possible.”

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Thomas Maher

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for FormulaSpy.com - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website. Also working in the Irish radio broadcasting industry. Donations: PayPal - paypal.me/thomasmaheronf1 ETH/ERC20 - 0x9d0b8071180AAcB0bD5f0c1d43281768C73e8763

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