Fernando Alonso has to revert to old-spec Honda for Austrian GP

Fernando Alonso has reverted to the 'spec 2' Honda Formula 1 engine for the remainder of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend after a problem was discovered with his McLaren's unit

Fernando Alonso has to revert to old-spec Honda for Austrian GP

Alonso's car had been fitted with the new more-powerful 'spec 3' internal combustion engine for the Red Bull Ring event, and his pace looked promising after the opening day of practice.

But overnight Honda detected a problem with the MGU-H, and a decision was taken that it could not risk running it.

With replacing individual components proving very complicated, to change the MGU-H has necessitated a change of the entire power unit back to a 'spec 2' version.

As the engine being fitted has already been used at a previous event, there will be no grid penalties.

Although the power improvements with the 'spec 3' are still not enough for the Honda to match its rivals in out-and-out straightline speed terms, there has been a boost to performance.

Top 10 pace from Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne in Friday practice, left Honda's F1 project chief Yusuke Hasegawa encouraged about the situation.

"Of course car performance is not just coming from the PU, so the chassis is also updated and it also depends on circuit characteristics," he said.

"But yeah, from the data point of view the engine also contributed to some of the lap time improvement so we are very happy about that."

Asked if he felt Honda was now on the right path, he replied: "I want to say so, but still it is too early.

"But definitely we are closing up some gap to the frontrunners but it is not huge enough to catch up the top runner level so still we need to try more."

shares
comments
Carlos Sainz Jr explains comment that angered Red Bull F1 team

Previous article

Carlos Sainz Jr explains comment that angered Red Bull F1 team

Next article

Vettel fastest in Austrian GP FP3 as Hamilton suffers brake failure

Vettel fastest in Austrian GP FP3 as Hamilton suffers brake failure
Load comments
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021