Fernando Alonso retired his McLaren-Honda on lap 25 of the Belgian GP, invoking a power loss but Honda has found no issues with the Spaniard’s engine.
Alonso was off to a thundering start at Spa, rocketing off the grid from P10 and moving up to seventh by the second lap.
It was all downhill from there however as the under-powered McLaren-Honda was progressively swallowed up by its rivals, leaving the Spaniard frustrated as he fought outside the top ten.
“Embarrassing, really embarrassing,” he quipped over the radio, before saying his race had evolved into a mere test.
Alonso later inquired about the potential of rain mixing up the running order, but with no adverse weather on the radar, the McLaren driver radioed in with a cut-and-dried “Engine problem, engine problem.”
“He radioed in with what he thought was a problem with the car, and although there was nothing showing in the data, we decided to stop the car as a precaution,” said Honda F1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa.
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Honda’s findings, or lack of, led to speculation that Alonso had simply thrown in the towel and deliberately retired. The Spaniard insisted however that there had been a problem.
“For sure, is not easy to race like this, as you cannot have any good wheel-to-wheel battles. It was a difficult afternoon and we were not competitive in race trim.
“The car was too slow on the straights and it was impossible to have any battles out there, so points were also impossible today. Eventually, we had to stop due to an engine issue.
“The situation is what it is and we need to improve it as soon as we can. I know the team is working day and night improving the car, and we hope we can see the results soon.”
Did Alonso park it on Sunday? If he did, we can’t blame him…
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