Fernando Alonso 'apprehensive' about McLaren's 2018

McLaren's horrible tenure with Honda has made Fernando Alonso nervous about expecting too much from its 2018 car.

On Friday, McLaren unveiled the Renault-powered MCL33, which sees the team return back to its iconic 'papaya' orange of its early days in F1. The team hopes it helps reverse recent fortunes having failed to finish higher than sixth in the championship in its three seasons with Honda.

Although Alonso is excited about the new car's potential he is refusing to get carried away until he has seen it on track.

"Looking at our new car, I feel incredibly excited -- but also apprehensive," he said. "I know just how important this car is to the team, and I just hope that it delivers in the way we all want it to.

"If we're able to develop the key strengths of last year's chassis and marry it to an improved Renault power unit, then I think we'll be able to take a step forwards. The car certainly looks very neat and well thought-out, and I think the new colour looks really great; really eye-catching. I just want to get behind the wheel now!"

McLaren has already been very positive about its new engine partner, saying Renault's superior F1 experience helped ease the late switch from Honda, which was only confirmed in the second half of 2017. Racing director Eric Boullier says he is fully aware of the challenge ahead.

"I think the whole team feels proud of this car," Boullier said. "The design, engineering and aerodynamic departments have done an incredible job delivering a new car with a new power unit in an extremely short timeframe. We never took the easy route or looked to shortcut a process or a solution; and the result is a car that is neat and well-resolved.

"That said, we are under no illusions that it will be difficult to splinter the hegemony at the front; and that the midfield will be full of well-funded, experienced outfits with plenty to prove. We are humble about the challenge ahead, but feel we've prepared well, have a solid package that we can build upon and exploit as the season progresses, and have two excellent drivers who will make the difference in races.

"At McLaren, we are all racers -- pure and simple. We're going to come out pushing, and we're going to be racing as hard as ever."