Fernando Alonso admits that he regrets some of the comments he made while driving for McLaren-Honda where he was persistently critical of the Honda power unit over the team radio.
Alonso had to put up with a lot of during the recent McLaren-Honda partnership. Constant power unit failures, record breaking grid penalties - Jenson Button, then the teammate of Alonso, holding the record with a 70-place grid penalty at the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix - and a never ending battle between McLaren and Honda over why the problems were so prevalent.
From refusing to save fuel at the 2015 Canadian Grand Prix, believing he was already 'looking like an amateur' from going too slowly before retiring and joining the crowd in the stands, to his memorable qualifying exit in Brazil of the same year where Alonso found a deckchair and had a nap before returning to the garage.
The silent protests, as amusing as they were to an outsider, would not have gone down well with Honda, but then, on Honda's home turf in Japan 2015, came the ultimate humiliation of, "Embarrassing, very embarrassing. GP2 engine, GP2,”
It could be argued that this moment was a turning point for Honda as they have since gone from strength to strength, claiming three wins with Max Verstappen in 2019, and Alonso now admits that he maybe didn't do things the right way.
Speaking in an interview with F1 Racing magazine, Alonso said, “I said it out of frustration, maybe I shouldn’t have said it. But I didn’t say it for television or at the press conference, I was just talking to my engineer, it was a private conversation. It was a private conversation,” explained Fernando Alonso in an interview with F1Racing.
“It wasn’t supposed to be public, but the engine was very bad. The first year in Jerez [in the winter tests] we only completed seven laps in four days…
“Now Honda is winning races and I am getting messages saying that the GP2 Engine has won and it should be a very sad day for me.
“I’m very happy for them, but the engine that was in my car at the time was not the same one they won with in Brazil [in 2019]."
Alonso is now attempting to plot a route back to Formula One for the 2021 season and says that he previously held talks with Red Bull about joining the team, claims that have been repeatedly denied by the team.
Having previously been so critical of Honda and knowing his F1 options could be limited, is the a sincere apology from the Spaniard or is this just an attempt to open a route back into the sport?
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.