Fernando Alonso is still to see the chequered flag in 2017, and endured another tough afternoon during the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, bemoaning the power deficit that he faced.
The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team battled hard throughout the race but was never in contention for points, ultimately retiring with an engine issue with a few laps remaining, but his main point of contention was the way he struggled on the straights and often found himself helpless from attack from behind.
Alonso admitted frustration that the pace that the MCL32 showed in the opening two races of the season in the Australian and Chinese Grand Prix did not translate into a decent weekend in Bahrain, and it was demoralising to be so short in power compared to his rivals.
“It was a frustrating race,” admitted Alonso. “The deficit in power and performance we had on the straights today was amazing.
“Sometimes I looked in the mirrors at the beginning of the straights and saw the other cars 300, 400 metres behind, so I forgot completely about that car and started changing settings on the steering wheel and doing my own things, then the next thing I see when I come on the brakes is that car alongside me.
“We were running close to the points but that’s not enough. Today we never had the pace we had in Australia and China, and, in the end, we had a problem and we decided to retire the car.
“It’s frustrating. When the red lights go off you’re motivated and you start fighting, but you’re so behind on the straights that there’s no way you can defend your position. You fight in a fair way with everyone, but you don’t enjoy the battle.”
Alonso is hopeful that the team can begin to show signs of improvement sooner rather than later, and also hopes that the bad luck that has seen him retire from all three races of the season so far this year, and that hit team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne before the race even began on Sunday, leaves the team alone.
“Everyone in the team has been working very hard over this weekend, day and night, and I’m sorry for Stoffel who has had so much bad luck all weekend and then didn’t even start today’s race,” said Alonso
“But we’ll keep working hard, and we hope to improve in due course.”