Fernando Alonso is hopeful McLaren can take something “positive” from the Australian GP, despite expecting a difficult weekend. The team start the 2017 season on the backfoot after a frustrating winter testing. Though Alonso has called for a quick turnaround in performance, he isn’t expecting miracles, and knows the team is relying on other people’s retirements to achieve a strong result. “The team worked very hard in the last couple of weeks to improve the situation and arrive a little bit more ready to compete but, in Formula One, there are no miracles in two weeks,” he said. “I expect a difficult weekend, so we have to have our feet on the ground knowing that we have some problems to solve.” McLaren were unable to complete their testing programme over the eight days at Barcelona, with engine problems keeping them in the pits on multiple occasions. Alonso has called for a quick turnaround in performance, though he made no comment on his confidence in the Honda engine. “I already asked the team to have a reaction very strong and very soon because, obviously, this is Formula One,” he said. “No one will wait for you more than one day, more than one hour. “We need to improve the situation, change the gear, raise our level and compete hard and hopefully enjoy the challenge.” At this stage, the only “positive” thing McLaren can hope to take from the first race of the season is a little more mileage than what they were able to get during preseason testing. Though Alonso commented that “anything can happen” and the team may be able to take points if there are retirements higher up in the field, it likely McLaren will be focusing on understand the car rather than taking top results. “We have a couple of small updates in the car, but we have to find out during practice tomorrow if they are any better,” Stoffel Vandoorne said. “For us, it is important to get mileage and understand the package and try to make the most out of it. “We have not completed the winter testing programme like we wanted to do, and we know we are in a difficult situation – but we knew that before coming here. “Now it is all about working together with the team to push us as hard as we can, to put new parts on the car and improve weekend after weekend.” For more Formula One news and discussions head over to the RaceDepartment Formula One sub forum and join in with your fellow community members. Where do you think McLaren will finish in the Australian GP? Do you think there will be much difference to their testing performance? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.