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"Sad" Alonso hopeful of Honda return after title-winning turnaround

"Sad" Alonso hopeful of Honda return after title-winning turnaround

F1 News

"Sad" Alonso hopeful of Honda return after title-winning turnaround

"Sad" Alonso hopeful of Honda return after title-winning turnaround
Sam Hall & Ewan Gale

Fernando Alonso has revealed his joy at seeing Honda realise its dream of clinching a title in F1 and is hopeful the manufacturer will return to the sport.

Alpine driver Alonso was at McLaren when the Japanese manufacturer made an underwhelming return to the sport having left at the end of 2008.

Whilst at McLaren, Honda struggled with performance and reliability, with Alonso memorably and ignominiously decrying the power unit was akin to a "GP2 engine" at its home grand prix at Suzuka.

Yet Honda was able to turn its fortunes around after leaving McLaren and joining Toro Rosso [AlphaTauri] and Red Bull, with both outfits picking up victories before Max Verstappen's triumph in the drivers' title last year.

“Honda, obviously when they left McLaren, I think they were not at a point of dreaming of the Formula 1 championship," said Alonso when speaking to media including GPFans in an end of season interview.

"But they did a very good job. They appointed the right people. I think they changed the management and they introduced a new philosophy and they did the job and I'm so happy for them.

"I was speaking with Yamamoto-San at all the last three or four grands prix because I have a very good connection with him, the head of Motorsport in Honda.

“He was the guy that allowed me to test the MotoGP [bike], et cetera, and we're still in a very good relationship and he was the first guy that I congratulated after Max won the title, in parc ferme.

“So I'm happy for them, I'm sad that they are leaving now, but hopefully, they come back.”

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