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McLaren focussing on reliability

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 01-06-2015 skysports.com
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McLaren are "working hard" to fix the reliability issues which have blighted their 2015 campaign and cost Fernando Alonso a potential points finish in Monaco. 

Just once this season have both the team's cars made it to the chequered flag as the rekindled partnership with Honda made a difficult start.

Alonso was running in the points in Monte Carlo when a gearbox problem brought his race to an early conclusion - his third retirement in five races.

"It's disappointing to have had two technical issues in a row, but as usual we're working extremely hard to understand these problems," the Spaniard said.

"Reliability is always the most important factor, so before performance we must focus on making sure we start the weekend positively and maximise the practice sessions to get our car properly set up for this track."

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Alonso's team-mate Jenson Button did make the chequered flag in Monaco, though, finishing in eighth to give McLaren their first points of 2015.

"Getting points on the board has been really positive and shows that we’re continuing to make big strides, but, if anything, it’s spurred us on even more to keep pushing until we reach where we want to be," the 2009 world champion said.

"Fernando hasn’t had much luck in the last few races so we all need to keep our heads down and keep fighting to make sure we get both cars to the flag. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve requires good top speed, so we can’t underestimate the challenge, but anything can happen there - and usually does - so we'll be getting stuck in right from the word go.

"It's the place where I had probably my most famous victory back in 2011, so it'll be interesting to see what the changeable weather will throw at us this year - it's something that’s definitely part of Montreal’s charm!"

With McLaren used to challenging for victories and world titles, eighth place is still somewhat of a disappointment, but racing director Eric Boullier admits it will be tough to even repeat that feat this weekend.

"Of course, we can't be pleased with eighth position, and we're still a long way behind where we want to be," the Frenchman said.

"Nonetheless, I'm proud of our progress and the rate of development we're maintaining, and we're continuing this push with every grand prix. Although I don't like to dwell on the past too much, comparing the pre-season tests with our current performance shows just how hard we've worked to fight towards the front.

"Our more promising performances have been scuppered by frustrating technical issues though, most recently on Fernando's side of the garage, so we're working hard to iron these out so that we can really see the potential of both cars and keep developing. We must target improved reliability and consistency in order to achieve our maximum potential. While the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve doesn't play to our car's strengths, Montreal is a great place to put our car to the test."

Canada has traditionally been a happy hunting ground for McLaren with 13 victories making them the most successful team in the race's history. The McLaren-Honda took one of those victories on its last visit to Montreal in 1992 when Gerhard Berger stood atop the podium.

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