Alonso ‘cannot do more’ to push Honda

Fernando Alonso says he is doing all he can to push Honda forward as they try to close the gap on front runners Mercedes.

Although this season has been a marked improvement on last year's campaign, Honda are still lagging behind their rivals.

This has left McLaren down in seventh place in the championship on 24 points, just two ahead of Formula 1's newcomers Haas.

It is at times a frustrating situation, however, Alonso is adamant that Honda are doing all they can to push on as there is no "magic button" in Formula 1.

Asked what he is doing to push Honda, Alonso told reporters in Austria: "Apart from punch them I cannot do anything more! I am trying to push everyone.

"I am aware of their hard work and I understand that they are doing their best. They are working 24 hours in Sakura, they are bringing all their knowledge from people, but unfortunately in F1 there isn't a magic button you can touch from one day to the other you can reach a certain level.

"If you can imagine we are in our second year, if you see the power we have, the deployment we have and the reliability we have, I don't think there have been many teams in this position in their second season, maybe Mercedes and we are maybe ahead of Mercedes in the second year.

"I am impressed with what Honda is doing with the little time they had. The biggest problem was the starting point, we were a bit behind last year."

The double World Champion added that a lot of progress had already been made from last year to this season especially in terms of reliability.

"We are definitely moving forward in the right direction," he said. "Last year the project was not mature enough, especially because the power unit was not ready.

"I remember here we had 105-place penalties between Jenson and me, so this was definitely a sign we were not ready to compete.

"We are a little bit behind compared to the other manufacturers, but in terms of the organisation, on the chassis side, we are comparable to the top teams.

"We are in a situation much better than last year which makes us more confident about next year."

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