Two-time world Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso stressed that he is delighted to see Honda winning races in F1 from now on.
The Spanish driver, who drove for McLaren between 2015 and 2017 with a Honda engine mounted in the back of his car, was critical of the Japanese engine manufacturer, who had just made a comeback in F1.
From the very beginning of the collaboration between McLaren and Honda, it became clear that the problems of integrating the PU into the chassis of the Woking cars would inevitably cause tensions between the British on one side and the Japanese engineers on the other.
For three years, Honda and McLaren never managed to become competitive together and it’s therefore logical that the British team and the Japanese company decided to separate at the end of 2017.
This tense relationship will of course be remembered for the famous “GP2 Engine” dropped at the Japanese Grand Prix by Fernando Alonso, who was overtaken on the straight by cars that were supposed to be slower than his McLaren.
Looking back, and while he is seriously considering returning to Formula One in 2021, Fernando Alonso admits that perhaps he shouldn’t have had such a comment on his radio.
“I said it out of frustration, maybe I shouldn’t have said it. But I didn’t say it for television or at the press conference, I was just talking to my engineer, it was a private conversation. It was a private conversation,” explained Fernando Alonso in an interview with F1Racing.
“It wasn’t supposed to be public, but the engine was very bad. The first year in Jerez [in the winter tests] we only completed seven laps in four days…
“Now Honda is winning races and I am getting messages saying that the GP2 Engine has won and it should be a very sad day for me.
“I’m very happy for them, but the engine that was in my car at the time was not the same one they won with in Brazil [in 2019]. ”
In 2019, Honda managed three Grand Prix victories with Red Bull Racing driven by Max Verstappen.