Good old Fred, the man simply can not resist a verbal jibe at the former McLaren partner Honda, taunting the Japanese firm that “Finally we have an engine that’s not an experiment”.
Alonso completed testing at Barcelona for McLaren on Monday this week. Then yesterday had duties to perform in the city at Europe’s largest mobile phone trade show. The English speaking press asked their questions to Alonso, of which we all read yesterday in the regular publications. Then the Spanish journo’s had their turn; it was then when Alonso revealed his feelings after the day’s running saying that “I see no reason why we 2018 should not be competitive”. Positive vides from the Spanish Samurai it seems…
“McLaren is one of the best racing teams in Formula 1, if not the best team ever. I’m talking about the historical context. If I know what we were capable of with the chassis, then I believe in ourselves. We now have a motor that is not an experiment. We have an engine that has won races in its 2017 version (for Red Bull Racing).” continued Alonso.
During his testing on Monday, it hadn’t been missed that whilst McLaren had an early off in the gravel, delaying further running; the Honda’s pounded out lap after lap without any interruption. Toro Rosso Honda driver Brendan Hartley said yesterday that he thought McLaren had “made a big mistake” ditching them for Renault. Hartley revealed that he felt there was an increase in drivability and performance compared to the Renault power unit he’d driven the previous season.
Perhaps Honda have moved on significantly from where they were in 2017? No doubt big brother team Red Bull Racing will be keeping a close eye on the baby Toro Rosso’s for a juicy works partnership with Honda for 2019.
Still, Alonso still had the wherewithal to find a silver lining to his testing issues during the press interviews:
“We also have two more racing teams working with this engine. In other words, if we have problems, then each of the other teams can help to find solutions faster.”
“One good example was the first day of testing. We could not drive for two hours, but meanwhile the other Renault teams have been working on issues like drivability or energy recovery. All of this helps us. ”
Hallelujah we cry out! The Spanish Samurai is a reformed, a team player now?? The Renault Power Unit community assisting one another in a mutually beneficial relationship of compassion and love? If Ron were dead, he’d be turning in his grave.