Fernando Alonso has revealed his surprise at reports that he withdrew from the Belgian Grand Prix with a healthy car, and insists his heart is still in Formula 1 and that he remains focused on getting the best possible result.
The Spaniard was outside the points at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend when he pulled his car into the pits, with the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver citing a problem with the engine over the radio.
Honda later revealed that there was no problem with the engine, but Alonso has dismissed the accusations that he just withdrew from the race.
“I read that, and I am surprised when I read that,” said Alonso. “It seems that people forgot I am racing here, three years fighting for Q1s, giving my maximum at the start, pushing the car in Hungary in Q1 uphill just to get another run in Q2, and trying to race with a broken rib in Bahrain.
“When I read that, I think people are not very concentrated on the real things that happen in Spa.”
Alonso revealed that the cause of the retirement was a concern that the power unit was on the verge of failing, with sensors indicating an imminent problem, so it was decided to pull out before it expired completely. He will use the engine again this weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, although he is already expecting a grid penalty with further upgrades from Honda coming this weekend.
“I had a few issues on the power unit, in the three or four laps before the retirement,” revealed Alonso. “I had this a couple of times before where some sensors starting failing, some things started feeling wrong and it went immediately to engine blow-up.
“This time, after having those first problems, we retired the car and they checked the whole engine. It seems everything is fine on the look they did.
“We will try to fit that engine tomorrow in FP2. If it blows up we will change it, obviously. If it keeps holding, probably we keep using it.”