Alonso targets 2017 Formula 1 title

Fernando Alonso has admitted that McLaren-Honda are well behind their targets but insists he can win the World Championship next year.

The Woking-based outfit currently sit a lowly seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, with Alonso 14th in the Drivers’ standings.

Two-time World Champion Alonso has gone 60 races without a win and 36 races without a podium finish and admits the team still need plenty of changes, with Volkswagen racing director Jost Capito set to become new chief executive.

“There are many things that need to be improved to be able to return to the top,” Alonso told the Italian magazine Autosprint.

“Aside from the power unit and aerodynamics, there are still many small mistakes that we’re making every day during the race weekend.

“I knew from the beginning that it wouldn’t be easy. We started from a very low point with the performance of the power unit, but in terms of preparation, a lot has been done in a very short time.”

Alonso, who turns 35 at the end of the month, has admitted that he expected to have made more progress since leaving Ferrari in 2014, though he is adamant the team will eventually challenge, especially now that Yusuhisa Arai has been replaced by Yusuke Hasegawa to head the program.

“(Performance) will arrive next year,” the Spaniard said.

“Let’s say that with the new organization structure came faster progress. The new boss came directly from racing, in the past he was an engineer and is more open to new ideas and a new philosophy.

“Things have improved, but we are aware that we are at least eight months behind the planned targets. For next year we want to win the world championship.

“It may sound strange being where we are, but that is the goal.”

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