Repeated problems with its Honda power unit limited the team to no more than a dozen laps at a time over the eight days of pre-season running.
“After a difficult two weeks of testing we’re prepared to face a difficult weekend in Melbourne,” said Alonso.
He said the team has had little time to react in a major way to the problems it has experienced. “We’ll do our best with what we have and there’s a lot of hard work and collaboration happening within the team, but the lack of time before the first race means you have fewer options for big changes.”
“The first step will be to work on reliability before we can make any assumptions or predictions about performance, and we will try to enjoy the weekend as much as we can.”
Honda F1 head Yusuke Hasegawa admitted it “won’t be an easy weekend” for the team but believes the manufacturer is making progress with its V6 hybrid turbo.
“In terms of performance, there has been room for improvement with mapping in order to have better driveability, and with further analysis we were able to make additional changes to be ready for Melbourne,” he said.
“We know we are heading in the right direction and we’ll continue our efforts in order to increase our competitiveness throughout the season.”
“It has been a challenging winter for everyone at the team,” he added. “Obviously the problems we had in Barcelona limited our track time and put added pressure on our pre-season preparations, however, we were still able to generate a huge amount of useful data.”
2017 F1 season
- Hamilton ‘most popular F1 driver since Schumacher’, says survey
- Ultra-durable tyres may provoke unusual strategies
- “A lot of question marks” whether Shield can be ready for 2018
- 2017 Monaco Grand Prix team radio highlights: Practice
- Red Bull is in the best shape of the season so far says Ricciardo