Fernando Alonso is renowned for out-driving poor machinery and he’s had a lot of practice in Formula 1 recently, as McLaren and Honda’s struggles continue.
There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for the issues the team and engine manufacturer are suffering, and he was forced to retire from Sunday’s Belgian GP because of a problem.
But, the day beforehand in qualifying, a very strange situation occurred, which cost Alonso the rare opportunity to make it through to the final session and battle for a spot in the top 10 on the grid.
Apparently, Alonso drove so quickly in his McLaren MCL32, that it caused the car to completely fail. That’s why he wasn’t able to complete his final hot lap.
What a waste, too, because he’d had a handy tow from his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne on the back straight, as Vandoorne had a 65-place grid penalty due to the huge number of engine component changes.
After he aborted the lap, Alonso shouted “no power, no power” over team radio, indicating he’d suffered an issue and that’s why he slowed down.
McLaren said it was a deployment issue in Q2 (rather than Q3, which is stated in the tweet below) but it appears that was caused by Alonso going too quickly through the iconic Pouhon corner.
He took it flat, which confused the system and caused his car to break and not deploy ERS power as a result.
So, because Alonso drove flat-out through Pouhon, the deployment system in the Honda engine got completely mixed up and he ran out of power.
This really is peak McLaren Honda now. Sunday’s race didn’t go much better, he had a great start to move up to seventh but the lack of straightline speed meant he was basically a sitting duck.
Alonso quickly dropped back down the field, venting his frustration over team radio, and retired mid-way through the race with a power unit issue. Surprise, surprise…