Fernando Alonso: “It’s been a difficult weekend so far”

Credit: McLaren Media Centre

The Belgian Grand Prix seemed to go from bad to worse for Fernando Alonso after he failed to set a time during qualifying.

The McLaren-Honda driver had a water leak during the opening practice session leading to the team changing his engine as the fault could not be fixed. Following this, Alonso received a thirty-five place grid penalty for Sunday, however another issue was encountered after Free Practice 3, and there was not enough time before qualifying for the team to do a proper investigation.

Alonso only managed 500 metres after the pit exit during qualifying before he was faced with another mechanical issue, leading to the Spaniard unable to set a time for qualifying, and even with this problems Alonso has faced, he believes it is all part of their learning process, and believes McLaren understand what they have to do.

“We noticed that there was an issue after P3,” said Alonso. “But we didn’t have time before qualifying to do a proper investigation.

“So in qualifying we managed to do only about 500 metres before we had to stop the car. Now all we can do is to do everything we can to make sure we finish the race without any further issues. It’s been a difficult weekend so far for me – a little bit unlucky because after all Jenson has the same new-spec PU yet he’s had zero problems. But as I say it’s just a bit unlucky, that’s all. 

“Obviously it’s painful when you have reliability problems such as these, but at the end of the day it’s part of our learning process. We know what we have to do: we have to understand what’s still too fragile in the PU, reinforce those parts, and make sure that next year we have a PU that’s powerful and strong enough to be capable of fighting at the front.”