The fortunes of McLaren and Honda in 2015 hit a new low during Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix as Fernando Alonso ripped into the team’s power unit over his radio.
Since rejoining forces with Honda at the beginning of the season, McLaren has been blighted by countless issues with the power unit that has limited the team to just four points finishes in 14 races so far this year.
The Japanese Grand Prix weekend was an important one for both McLaren and Honda, being the latter’s home event with plenty of corporate presence.
After making a good start and working his way up to P9 by the end of the first lap, Alonso began to drop back and was easily passed, prompting him to launch into a tirade over the radio and calling it “very embarrassing”.
Later in the race, Alonso was passed by Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen, which once again irked the Spaniard.
“GP2 engine, GP2. Aaaaargh!” he cried over the radio, comparing his Honda power unit to those used by F1’s junior series.
Alonso eventually finished the race in 11th place, but his radio comments at Honda’s home race were the main talking point as the cracks continue to show at McLaren.
After the race, Alonso spoke about his embarrassment and frustration as he continues to toil away with the McLaren-Honda MP4-30 car.
This outburst has come on the same weekend as speculation about Alonso’s future with McLaren has emerged after former manager Flavio Briatore suggested the Spaniard could leave at the end of the season.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday at Suzuka, Alonso quashed these rumors by affirming his belief that McLaren can return to winning ways in partnership with Honda.
“I am in this project because I trust this project and I think McLaren with the potential and Honda with the potential,” Alonso said. “Both companies have. It is just a matter of time before they will win again.”