Honda F1 Investigation Shows No Issues With Alonso's Engine
And yet, the Spaniard pulled into the pits and retired after announcing an engine problem on team radio.
Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix resulted in another DNF for McLaren's Fernando Alonso. The two-time champion driver was initially frustrated—again—with the lack of power from his Honda-sourced engine before he pulled into the pits. He announced "Engine problem, engine problem" over the radio before he exited the race, leading to a study of the engine afterwards. However, Honda claims that the investigation revealed no signs of engine failure from Alonso's powerplant used at Spa, meaning that the Spaniard perhaps purposely retired prematurely from the race.
'Nando made his annoyance clear throughout the event, claiming it was "embarrassing, really embarrassing." He followed that up by saying "I really don't care too much about the gaps. This is just a test." Shortly after these complaints, Alonso made the executive decision to pull off, ending the race and leaving McLaren without any chance of points.
Motorsport.com reported that Honda F1 engine chief Yusuke Hasegawa made a comment on the situation, saying: "He radioed in with what he thought was a problem with the car, and although there was nothing showing in the data, we decided to stop the car as a precaution."
Alonso stayed true to his word though, claiming he was sure of the issue.
"For sure, is not easy to race like this, as you cannot have any good wheel-to-wheel battles. It was a difficult afternoon and we were not competitive in race trim. The car was too slow on the straights and it was impossible to have any battles out there, so points were also impossible today. Eventually, we had to stop due to an engine issue."
Speculation has swirled around Alonso's commitment to McLaren after his troubles with the team this season. A back and forth clash of drama has raised questions of whether or not he will be on the move come 2018, and Alonso even announced that he may consider a switch to IndyCar. Reports also tell that teams including Williams could be interested in adding him to their roster with 'Nando telling he has received offers from various others, though he will make his decision "in September."