Alonso Taking Pouhon Flat for First Time ‘Confused’ Honda Power Unit


Fernando Alonso will start eleventh in Belgium despite his deployment issue during qualifying - Credit: Glenn Dunbar/McLaren

Fernando Alonso’s deployment issue was caused by the Spaniard taking the Pouhon corner flat out for the first time, which confused his Honda power unit and prevented him from improving his time and advancing to the top-ten shootout at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday.

Yusuke Hasegawa, Head of Honda’s F1 Project, felt that the engine was prepared for the usual lift only for Alonso to show again why he is renowned as one of Formula 1’s top racers by taking the corner at 100% throttle, which ultimately caused the issue that saw him abort the lap.

Alonso had used the slipstream of McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne down the Kemmel Straight in order to give him a chance of advancing, but ultimately the deployment problem cost him.

“We set a segment to when we have the deployment, and normally that segment is divided by the throttle,” said Hasegawa to Motorsport.com.

“Sometimes a driver is making a different operation, so that makes the system confused and we didn’t have deployment at some certain area.”

Hasegawa insists there will be work done overnight to ensure this problem does not reoccur on race day, even if Pouhon will be a much different proposition with a full tank of fuel.

“Although he missed out on Q3 he finished ‘best of the rest’ which leaves the team a free choice of tyres for the race tomorrow,” said Hasegawa.

“We think we could have extracted a bit more from our package, but the power deployment ran out before the end of Fernando’s final flying lap. We will now work on adjusting the settings accordingly with McLaren and Fernando before the race.”