Alonso: ‘Honda stopping us being first’

Date published: August 26 2017 - Editor

Fernando Alonso has once again bemoaned the lack of power from the Honda engine, saying McLaren would "easily" be first with a better power unit.

The Spaniard was knocked out of Q2 at Spa after his last hot lap was ruined by the engine with Alonso screaming "No power! No power!" on team radio.

Alonso had to settle for P11, but claimed the team does the ability to be challenging with the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari if they had a more competitive power unit to work with.

"We would have liked to be there but in general it was a very positive day," said Alonso.

"In Q2 until the final attempt we were 1.5 seconds off on a track where we know how much we are losing with the engine, so we would easily be in first and second positions."

He added: "The battery didn't work and I lost six tenths from Turn 11 to 12. I was two tenths quicker than on the previous lap so I would have improved one or two more in the final sector, so we would have been in Q3 without any problems.

"In the end, starting 11th with new tyres maybe gives us an extra opportunity so we'll try to take advantage tomorrow."

Alonso benefitted by getting a nice tow from team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, who played the team game knowing he has a 65-place grid penalty coming his way on Sunday.

"We had it planned," Alonso added about the slipstream tactic.

"Next week it will be the other way around because it's my turn. We were trying to take advantage of the penalties, we have to find a positive and try to do the best for the team.

"As I said, if I had been in Q3 with just one set of tyres left, then you aim to be ninth or 10th, so starting 11th with new tyres is not a disadvantage."