Honda puzzled by recurring failures with F1 engine at Bahrain GP

Honda has identified a recurring MGU-H problem as the reason Fernando Alonso's engine failed in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix

Honda puzzled by recurring failures with F1 engine at Bahrain GP

Alonso escaped Q1 and felt 13th or 14th on the grid was possible, but he ended up 15th after failing to complete a lap in Q2 because of the engine problem, and will require a new engine for the race.

Autosport understands the MGU-H failure sent debris into the internal combustion engine and also damaged that beyond repair.

Alonso's failure follows two terminal MGU-H problems for team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne that occurred in Friday practice.

A new unit failed in the first session, and a replacement unit that was run in March's Australian Grand Prix broke in FP2.

Honda motorsport chief Yusuke Hasegawa said the Japanese manufacturer has yet to fully understand the reasons, or why these failures have occurred suddenly in Bahrain.

"We are not sure the exact cause, but definitely a mechanical failure of the MGU-H," said Hasegawa.

"It is something around the bearings, it was sticking.

"They are all dead so we have to replace.

"We're not sure why it happened just here three times, but we are suspecting something happened in this environment.

"Possibly because the temperatures are very high."

Hasegawa expressed confidence the McLaren-Hondas will finish Sunday's race, given Alonso will start with a new MGU-H and Vandoorne's unit is still at low mileage.

However, there are concerns within McLaren that the MGU-H problem will recur in the race.

When asked to comment on the performance of the Honda engine, Alonso said the lack of reliability made this a pointless exercise.

"There is no point for us talking driveability," said Alonso, who later engaged in a serious private discussion with Hasegawa in the McLaren team offices.

"We cannot complete a lap or do qualifying.

"I don't care too much about the driveability if I cannot finish a race so far this year, or if I cannot finish qualifying now."

shares
comments
Nico Hulkenberg Bahrain F1 qualifying lap as good as 2010 Brazil pole
Previous article

Nico Hulkenberg Bahrain F1 qualifying lap as good as 2010 Brazil pole

Next article

Felipe Massa is surprised Jenson Button won't test before F1 return

Felipe Massa is surprised Jenson Button won't test before F1 return
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022