Mexican GP: Honda 'very ashamed' by large grid penalties

Yusuke Hasegawa says Honda is "very ashamed" that McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne have been forced to take sizeable grid penalties for Formula 1's Mexican Grand Prix

Mexican GP: Honda 'very ashamed' by large grid penalties

The Japanese manufacturer opted to fit fresh engine components to both cars to boost each driver's pool of parts for the final two races of the season, as it expected to struggle at Mexico City.

Instead, McLaren has shown good pace, with Alonso fifth in Q1 and declaring he had the best car in the field.

Alonso was given a 20-place grid penalty while Vandoorne had a full change and therefore incurred a 35-place drop, with the duo lining up 18th and 19th respectively.

"We are very ashamed that we need to give another penalty to both drivers," said Honda F1 project leader Hasegawa.

"From the last couple of race results, we are not confident to last just one engine to finish another three races, so we thought this is the opportunity to introduce new engines.

"Before the race, our engine performance wasn't very good here, so that's why we decided to get the penalty here to increase the engines for the rest of the season."

Alonso said achieving the best sector two time in Q1 was a welcome boost for the team, given the series of penalties it has encountered in recent races.

"It's nice to have some reward for the hard effort the team is putting in for the last couple of races and the development of next year's car," he said.

"We have struggled with the penalties in the last few of races - we had penalties in Spa, in Monza, in Japan, and here.

"But we never give up and we are still improving the car as much as we can and we are happy for that.

"The remaining GPs are important, to score points, to help the team.

"There are important, valuable time on the circuit to improve the car and to learn as much as we can for next year.

"We don't have the big change as we had last year, same with the tyres, it's not like everything will be new. All the information we can get now is useful.

"I am enjoying this last part of the year, even if with all these penalties you don't expect to score all the points.

"I see the progress of the car, and this is a part of the year I am enjoying."

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