"We had been P13 three times in a row and today we took that step forward we needed".
McLaren's Fernando Alonso says he's happy after qualifying 8th for the Spanish GP but admits the team need to push on with development of the vehicle. I'm happy with the progress we did here at McLaren and the direction things are going, so I'm happy here.
"I'm happy with this step forward". Everything that we bring to the track is delivering the expectations and the lap times that we were expecting from them.
"That is a positive thing, the correlation with the factory".
Fernando Alonso expressed his dismay at the performance gap between himself and the top three teams in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix. Probably the downside of this position is still the gap. The feeling was positive in the auto, and we ended up very close to Q3 - Fernando just made it - which shows the parts we've brought here are working well. So that delay in bringing the first improvement, and not having it at the first race but here, probably put us in a hard position in the first couple of races.
Alonso started 13th in Azerbaijan and dropped to the back of the pack after another vehicle collided with him on the first lap. "I think it's two different series and two different worlds", said the driver. This vehicle was supposed to be the Australian GP package but we have brought it here to Spain.
"But from now on we need to push the development and bring new parts every single race".
"That delay, on the first improvement, and having it not at the first races, having it here, probably put us in a hard position in the first races".
Alonso has yet to reach the third stage of qualifying this season but has still picked up 28 points, leaving him in sixth position in the overall standings.
The two-time world champion is splitting his time this year between his duties with McLaren and racing in the World Endurance Championship, where he competes for Toyota.
The Briton raced with McLaren full-time between 2010 and 2016 before hanging up his helmet after a one-off appearance in the Monaco Grand Prix a year ago as he replaced the Indianapolis 500-bound Fernando Alonso.
He concluded: "Every year we come here and it gets bigger and bigger and the people are excited no matter what". Watch the Spanish GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 on Sunday.