Honda boss 'ashamed' by Fernando Alonso grid penalty at home race

Honda Formula 1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa says he is "ashamed" by the grid penalty Fernando Alonso has incurred for McLaren-Honda's home race in Japan

Honda boss 'ashamed' by Fernando Alonso grid penalty at home race

Alonso qualified inside the top 10 at Suzuka, but will drop to the back of the grid thanks to a 35-place penalty incurred ahead of final practice on Saturday.

Honda discovered a hydraulic leak on Alonso's engine after Friday practice and elected to swap the power unit in its entirety rather than attempt a fix.

Team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne will start ninth, and a grid penalty for Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen means both McLaren-Hondas could have started the Japanese Grand Prix in points contention but for Alonso's setback.

"I'm very ashamed," Hasegawa told reporters after the session. "We didn't have an engine failure, we had some hydraulic leakage, which we can change if we find out [the cause] with enough time, but we couldn't, that's why we need to change the engine."

McLaren-Honda had to break curfew regulations for the second time this season to complete the engine change, which racing director Eric Boullier said was "frustrating for everybody" and "does affect the preparation for the weekend in terms of pitstops and practices, so it's not ideal".

Alonso now faces an uphill battle to recover a decent result in the last Japanese GP before the current McLaren-Honda alliance is dissolved at the end of the season.

"With all the high-speed corners it will be difficult to follow the [other] cars and will be a tough race," Alonso said.

"Hopefully we can do a good start and play a good strategy and we'll see how the pace is.

"We need some speed to overtake cars on the straights, which normally we don't have, so it's going to be [a] demanding, complex race to execute.

"There are not really any clear targets. Hopefully close to the points will be good."

shares
comments
Japanese GP: Sainz to replace Palmer at Renault after Suzuka race
Previous article

Japanese GP: Sainz to replace Palmer at Renault after Suzuka race

Next article

Toro Rosso confirms Gasly/Kvyat for US GP after Sainz Renault exit

Toro Rosso confirms Gasly/Kvyat for US GP after Sainz Renault exit
Load comments
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021