McLaren still remain in a midfield fight despite ambitions to climb back up the grid and fight for podiums in 2016. Button is currently 15th on 17 points whilst Alonso is 11th on 30 points, both drivers feel that the fly-away races will suit their chassis as they look to the mountainous task of chasing Force India in the Constructors.
Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend, Alonso said,
“We knew Spa and Monza would be among the two most difficult races on the calendar for us. Now we move to the end-of-season flyaways and we’re optimistic that we can continue pushing for more points and more positive results. Singapore is a really fun track, very bumpy and challenging, but it’s a quirky layout with a lot of stop-start sections and really fast straights, so you need a car that works well in high downforce set-up and has good traction out of the slower corners. I’ve won there twice before, and the floodlights and energetic fans give it a really exciting atmosphere.
Singapore is a great race – it’s always an enjoyable weekend and definitely one of the halo races on the calendar each year. It’s a really long race – usually almost two hours – so a lot can happen. It’s tough on the cars too, especially with the current that runs underneath the asphalt near the Anderson Bridge towards Turn 13, which can play tricks on the electronics systems. It’s definitely a race of attrition, so I hope we can have a smooth weekend with good reliability, and work our way towards the front. Over the past few races, we’ve shown good consistency in our performances, so I’m optimistic that we can continue this form in Singapore.”
– Fernando Alonso
Alonso’s previous victories in Singapore are memorable for opposing reasons. His 2010 victory for Ferrari was a masterclass in aggressive, defensive driving against Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull:
However, his 2008 victory was more than greasy. “Crashgate” saw the Renault team drowning in conspiracy – or cheating. Then team principal Flavio Briatore ordered Alonso’s team-mate, Nelson Piquet Jr to purposely crash to bring out the safety car. This essentially allowed Alonso to cruise to victory. The Spaniard claimed to know nothing about the team’s misdoings.