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Alonso: 'No radical performance changes expected for Baku'

©McLaren

Fernando Alonso has every intention of making it four point-scoring finishes in a row in Baku next weekend, although the Spaniard isn't expecting a significant step up in performance from his MCL33.

Save for Stoffel Vandoorne in Chona, the Woking-based outfit's drivers have enjoyed top-10 placings at every venue this season.

Alonso's tally year-to-date has already surpassed the points haul he achieved over the course of the entire 2017 season, a feat which indicates a clear step forward for McLaren.

McLaren will only implement minor updates in Azerbaijan, with a big upgrade package expected in Barcelona.

“We know our limitations and where we need to improve our package, and, although we bring parts to test to every race weekend, we aren’t anticipating a radical change in our performance in Baku,” said the two-time world champion in the team's race preview.

“However, we’re learning more and more about the behaviour of our car each time we step into the cockpit, and in Azerbaijan we’ll be maximising everything we have as usual to score as many points as possible.”

While McLaren has enjoyed relatively good consistency on Sunday's, and a bit of luck, its MCL33's speed in qualifying trim has been its main weakness, especially with regard to the car's top speed.

Racing director Eric Boullier hopes a blend of strategy and driver's skill will result in a productive weekend in Baku.

©WRI2

"We know our package tends to deliver more on Sundays, so the important thing will be to react quickly to anything that happens,” says the Frenchman.

"We must keep our heads down, push hard and take any and every opportunity that comes our way.

"Both of our drivers have raced brilliantly in the first grands prix of the season and I know they'll be relishing the opportunity to maximise what they have underneath them in Baku,” he adds.

"Overtaking is at a premium, so, while we don't underestimate the importance of our starting grid slots for Sunday's race, we're also looking forward to the challenge that racing through these historic city streets brings."

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