And I think we've seen that isn't the case. Alonso, who last took to the top step of an F1 podium at this race back in 2013, may be sixth in the standings with 28 points, but that tally says more about his racecraft rather than the speed of his McLaren.
"We saved them with a lot of points on Sundays with a little bit of luck and good races, but now we need to push the development and we need new parts every single race".
It follows a disappointing start to the season for the British team, despite the switch from Honda to Renault power.
Although McLaren aimed to be with the top teams in 2018, the Spaniard said the vehicle is actually "1.8 to 2 seconds behind".
The vehicle was not as fast as expected, especially in qualifying, and its top speeds were among the slowest on the grid.
Fernando Alonso was a victor on his World Endurance Championship debut last weekend but the Spanish Grand Prix is a reminder of just how long it has been since he last tasted success in Formula One. "So it has been a very good start, in a way".
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This weekend will mark the fifth anniversary of Alonso's last F1 victory, which came in Barcelona with Ferrari. Here, in the last five years, I did much better races than previously, even if I was not able to win the race.
"I recover on average six places on the grand prix, so with that tomorrow, who knows", Alonso smiled. "It's hard to see from the outside, but extremely proud and motivated every time you do a one-off performance".
Also hoping McLaren can improve with its "B" auto this weekend is Alonso's teammate, Stoffel Vandoorne.
Fernando Alonso declared himself "happy" with qualifying P8 in an upgraded MCL33, but noticed the gap to the top is still not closing.
The two-time F1 world champion is attempting to complete the "Triple Crown" of motorsport before he retires and will look to move a step closer by winning the Le Mans 24 Hours next month. So that's something you need to take into account for future decisions.
"The biggest problem is how predictable everything is". However, while not yet a cause for celebration, eighth and 11th positions on an aerodynamically-challenging track such as this mark our best qualifying session of the season so far, and is certainly the step forward we were hoping for on track to correlate with the evidence we saw in simulation. "This is sad in a way for Formula One, the direction everything went".