Honda feared Alonso engine a write-off in Singapore crash

Honda has revealed it had fears that Fernando Alonso’s engine had been damaged beyond repair in the first accident he suffered at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Honda feared Alonso engine a write-off in Singapore crash
 Fernando Alonso, McLaren
 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, takes out Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
 Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
 Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, Fernando Alonso, McLaren, in Parc Ferme

The Spaniard had pulled off a brilliant start to leap up to a potential third place at the Marina Bay circuit, before he was caught up in the collision between Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen.

Although Alonso was able to get going again after the crash, the damage inflicted to his MCL32 was too severe – and a holed exhaust and failing electronics eventually forced him to retire to the pits.

In the wake of the race, though, Honda had genuine concerns that the impact and subsequent running had put too much strain through the power unit.

The Japanese manufacturer was worried it would have to be removed from Alonso’s pool of components – prompting the need for a new engine and grid penalties.

But speaking ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix, Honda’s F1 engine chief Yusuke Hasegawa has said that examination of the engine at his company’s base has delivered some good news.

“We were concerned that it may have been irreparably damaged, but fortunately after a thorough check back at the Sakura factory we can confirm it is okay to be re-used,” explained Hasegawa.

While McLaren had a strong showing in Singapore, the team is well-aware that things will be tougher for it in Malaysia this weekend – thanks to the Sepang circuit’s long straights.

Alonso said: “The configuration will work less in our favour, but of course we will still fight for everything. There are six races left and we are still putting all our energy in finishing every race in the best possible position we can.

“Sepang will be more difficult for us in terms of set-up since the straights require good straight-line speed and power, but this track is a mixture of a lot of different characteristics, so we’ll see how much we can make up on the slower-speed corners.

“The 2017 cars will definitely be faster through there, which will surely be fun to experience, and I hope we can avoid any drama and have a solid race.”

shares
comments
What the Aston Martin deal means for Red Bull

Previous article

What the Aston Martin deal means for Red Bull

Next article

Gilles Villeneuve’s very first driving course

Gilles Villeneuve’s very first driving course
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021