Published: Sat, March 11, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Lula West

Alonso lifts the lid on Honda's problems

Alonso lifts the lid on Honda's problems

FERNANDO ALONSO has slammed McLaren's engine partner, Honda - insisting they are too SLOW and accusing them of making "amateur" mistakes.

With eight days of running completed, Alonso managed a total of 190 laps, and Vandoorne 235 - which is a poor showing when compared to Mercedes who completed more than 1000.

With just two days of pre-season testing remaining, McLaren is bottom of the timesheets for both laps completed and the fastest times recorded at the Circuit de Catalunya.

"We have only one problem: that is the power unit", he said. For Australia we'll have a different evolution, so from that point of view there's still hope to gain some power and reliability with the final version. I think we are 30 km/h down on every straight. He is satisfied with the way he attacks the corners and he enjoys driving the vehicle, however, the engine is a big problem and they are 30km/h down on every straight because of it. "Everything feels good, but when you arrive to normal speed you don't know what is going to happen.".

"[Analysing] the chassis side is hard because we are not pushing probably the speed that the others are doing because of a lack of power". He went on to say that he still thinks he's a good driver and won't quit. If everything goes in the wrong direction, I will attack next year.

Fernando Alonso, who usually tries to remain optimistic no matter what's going on in the vehicle, came to the end of his tether this week, reportedly saying: "I don't think we are too far back with the chassis".

And he says the subsequent problems have put them well behind their rivals ahead of the season-opener in Melbourne on March 26. "Definitely we need to improve and we must improve, our situation is far from ideal, but we are a big team".

"From day one we keep unlocking a little bit the situation in terms of power and in terms of reliability". With more laps you discover other things; temperature in the rear caliper or bodywork that is not properly tight - things that normally you discover in day one or day two of winter testing.

"It brings me more motivation to continue and win because I will not stop racing without a good feeling and a good result that I think I deserve".

"I am confident that this year we can be competitive, I just don't know when". We had hoped to close the gap over the winter. And we're also lacking in the reliability, to be able to run 15, 35 or 43 consecutive laps - as many as we want - and stop only when we want to, not when an alarm goes off in the engine.

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