Fernando Alonso believes McLaren can be competitive in 2017
Alonso is in his second spell at McLaren, having first joined the team in 2007.
He was only with the outfit for one season but he has now been back at the Woking outfit for the past two seasons.
The two-time world champion has not won a race since 2013 and thinks that this season will once again see the dominant teams of recents years at the front.
2017 F1 Calendar
Wed, January 18, 2017
Express Sport brings you the complete Formula One 2017 race calendar
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Express Sport brings you the full Formula One 2017 calendar
"Surely Mercedes are on a trajectory to lead having won the last three world championship as they have done," Alonso said.
"Then Red Bull will adapt well to the new rules, but we will have to see how we all adapt.
"We really do not know still.
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McLaren Honda were not on the pace last year
"F1 is always an unknown, but this year that is even more so."
McLaren Honda meanwhile are without a win since 2013 and could only finish sixth in the World Constructors' Championship last year.
And while new boss Zak Brown has played down their chances once again, Alonso is quietly optimistic.
McLaren Honda are chasing their first win in five years this time around
"Victories? I think we have to be cautious," Alonso added.
"I have read that Zak said this year that it will be difficult to win, well… who knows? I keep positive.
"I'm better than ever, I'm preparing as never before and I'm going to go for it.
"Who knows what will really happen, I'm going to do it all.
"We have to be careful [because] in the races at the end of last year we were a second or a second and a half off Mercedes.
"It's a brutal gap and we must be cautious.
"We will see the result at the end.
"It is too early to make predictions."