Fernando Alonso – McLaren 'lacking ambition' not going for fastest lap

Fernando Alonso admitted he was disappointed he wasn’t allowed to pit for fresh tyres in a bid to set the fastest lap of the race at the Russian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard finished a lowly 14th, battling the Williams of Lance Stroll for much of it. With a chance of a points finish out of the question, Alonso hoped McLaren would bolt on a fresh set of tyres to give him a chance of setting the fastest lap — which Valtteri Bottas ultimately claimed on lap 50, setting a 1:35.861, 3.7s faster than Alonso’s best lap of the day.

When questioned about going for the fastest lap, Alonso said: “Yes, when you are P14/15 it is good for the team, good for the guys working flat out every day, good for the sponsors and partners. But we were lacking ambition I think today.”

Alonso says McLaren’s struggles were as ”expected” but he’s hopeful next weekend’s race at Suzuka is more fruitful for the team.

“It was quite a long race,” Alonso said when reflecting on the race in Russia. “We stopped on lap 4/5 to try to undercut some people. All of them had one set of yellow tires, we had two. The yellow tire for the whole race with no issues, and that did not come out as we expected. Overall we did not have the pace, as we said before the race.

“Nothing we can do now, so thinking of Japan and maybe we can score some points there.”