Fernando Alonso is adamant McLaren will be in the fight for the top 10 at the Canadian Grand Prix despite seeing the team off the pace of its major rivals in qualifying.

Ahead of his 300th Formula 1 race, Alonso says his team were already bracing for a difficult weekend in Montreal with the circuit’s characteristics not suiting its MCL33 with demands on low drag while keeping pace in the low-speed corners.

Qualifying proved a tough time for McLaren with both Alonso and teammate Stoffel Vandoorne finishing bottom of the pile in Q2 behind the likes of Charles Leclerc in the Alfa Romeo Sauber and Brendon Hartley in the Toro Rosso Honda.

Despite having to attack from 14th on the grid, Alonso is confident he can fight up the order to target points having missed out for the first time this year at the last race in Monaco.

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“Coming here we were concerned about the circuit as it is similar to circuits we’ve been to this year with types of corners and long straights which is not the best for our package,” Alonso said. “Yesterday we felt quite competitive and the car was behaving quite well so we were quite confident for today’s qualifying but we were not on the pace today unfortunately.

“We need to understand more about everything today but let’s see what we can do tomorrow.

“It is very tight on the times, one or two tenths I think we could have found today, would maybe put us in a different position and maybe in a different perception from the outside. I still think tomorrow, race day, we will score points and we can get a better feeling.”

McLaren will continue to target the ‘best of the rest’ title behind the top three teams of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, with the Woking-based squad trailing Renault by six points in the Formula 1 world constructors’ championship after the opening six rounds.



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