Fernando Alonso has been a somewhat frustrated figure for most of the 2017 Formula 1 season.
The veteran Spaniard finished 15th in the Drivers' Championship with only 17 points for the season along with seven retirements.
Success has been hard to find in the latter part of a otherwise stellar career.
The McLaren driver has not greeted the chequered flag since his home race in 2013, when he was at Ferrari.
Rumours were rife that Alonso may well walk away from the sport, with a career in Indy racing a possibility, especially as he took part in the iconic Indianapolis 500 back in May.
However, an encouraging last three races of the season where he finished 10th, 8th, and 9th has seen the 36-year-old in a positive frame of mind.
The two-time world champion believes that McLaren can be a big player in 2018 when they switch to Renault engines.
Sky Sports reported Alonso as saying: "We can see what Red Bull are doing with the Renault power unit.
"Maybe they are not the quickest, but they are fighting for podiums and victories.
"That will be a very good step if we can achieve that."
Despite the painful experiences McLaren have experienced working with Honda, Alonso has revealed that it was the lure of working with them that encouraged him to join the project back in 2015.
"When l joined the project, I joined firstly because it was because Honda coming in. Some of my inspiration to be a driver was when l was a kid watching television and Senna and Prost were driving the McLaren-Honda.
"It didn't work, the performance wasn't there, and now we will split. I'm sad on one side and happy on the other because l think next year will be much better.
"This year has been a little bit better than the last two - l have that impression from the fans and the people who l met, they seemed to have enjoyed this year and that's because of Indianapolis. Those two weeks were definitely the highlight of the year, we were fighting for the front row of the grid, we were leading the race, we were competitive.
"Here, it was a little bit frustrating. Too many retirements, too many painful moments - in Russia we didn't even start the race."
Alonso believes McLaren have learnt a lot too.
"The last few years have taught us a lot.
"Sometimes when you are winning too easily you then one day find yourself with competition and you make mistakes because you have forgotten how to fight and maximise the package.
"But if we produce a good car next year, the whole team is ready."
The positive vibes coming from Alonso are refreshing to hear and a sign that he is happy in the sport of F1, as well as being positive about the future of McLaren.
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