- Palmer points to teammate that Hamilton would love to have
- Alonso takes a dig at Honda and points to troubles for Toro Rosso
- Hamilton on why Mercedes will triumph in 2018 and it is not due to the W09
- Alonso reveals why he did not quit F1 despite leaning towards exit
- Vettel offers crisp reply to Ferrari critics
- Hamilton’s ‘oompa loompa’ ex-girlfriend reveals champion’s strange toilet demand
- Hamilton helps Mercedes bag sponsorship deal
- Verstappen responds to Wolff’s early season prediction
- Ferrari boss opens door to staying in F1 if Liberty Media follows instruction
- Halo not disturbing drivers’ vision, but glaring problem remains
- Updated: February 28, 2018
McLaren may have moved past its ill feelings regarding a barren spell of three years with engine manufacturer Honda, but Fernando Alonso still seems quite hung up on a period that robbed him of having any realistic chance of challenging for the title.
In his latest jibe aimed at Honda, the Spaniard said, “Finally we have an engine that’s not an experiment.”
While he was calculated in his press conference in front of the English-speaking press following his pre-season test in Barcelona on Monday, it is only when he was confronted by Spanish media did he really vent out his emotions.
“I see no reason why in 2018 we should not be competitive,” he said.
“McLaren is one of the best racing teams in Formula 1, if not the best team ever. I’m talking about the historical context. If I know what we were capable of with the chassis, then I believe in ourselves. We now have a motor that is not an experiment. We have an engine that has won races in its 2017 version (for Red Bull Racing).” continued Alonso.
During testing on Monday, it was evident that despite a minor blip initially, the new McLaren seemed to be in pretty good condition and finished a number of laps without any problems.
Toro Rosso driver Brendan Hartley, meanwhile, seemed equally happy with his team partnering with Honda, and claimed that it was a huge mistake on the part of McLaren to ditch the Japanese outfit for Renault.
Hartley claimed that he felt there was an increase in drivability and performance compared to the Renault power unit he’d driven the previous season.
While it may well be true that Honda has improved since last year, there will be no doubt that Red Bull will be keeping a close eye on how Toro Rosso performs this year given their potential switch to Honda power in 2019.
For Alonso, though, there were only positives to take from his team’s new partnership with Renault.
“We also have two more racing teams working with this engine. In other words, if we have problems, then each of the other teams can help to find solutions faster.
“One good example was the first day of testing. We could not drive for two hours, but meanwhile the other Renault teams have been working on issues like drivability or energy recovery. All of this helps us.”