Alonso has 4 engines left in 2016

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It’s a tough way to start your Bahrain Grand Prix weekend but McLaren’s Fernando Alonso will have a new engine already after the ICE used in the Australia was too damaged following a massive crash.

“We have recovered the power unit from Fernando’s car used in Melbourne,” said Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda’s F1 boss.

“After initial investigations, we are massively disappointed that the ICE and most of the surrounding parts have been heavily damaged, as the impact from the accident was just too great. We will be replacing the complete power unit in Bahrain.”

With precious few engines for the entirety of the season, Fernando is already on the back foot this year. You have to hand it to his positive face in the press though:

“Firstly, I’m very pleased to be heading to Bahrain after the crash in Australia. I’ve spent some time resting and I can’t wait to get back in the car,” he said.

“Although on paper Melbourne wasn’t a great race for us, before the crash I’d been having some good battles and the car felt pretty promising, so I hope in Bahrain we can experience more of the same.

“We’re still pushing to bring upgrades to each race, so providing we can get everything to the car in time we’ll be aiming to get as much track time as possible with the new chassis from the start of free practice.”

He’s right though, he was running relatively well compared to last year’s performance and might possibly have scored points if not for the crash with Haas F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez. Regardless, more challenges for McLaren Honda and only the second race into a 21-race season. As Sky points out, having 4 left is an issue considering they used 23 engines between drivers last season.

Hat Tip: Sky Sports F1

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Peter Riva

what a dumb rule… survive the crash so we’ll handicap you. Wake up FIA!

Mogens

4 engines left??
hmm – And how many lives?

MIE

Last season drivers had four power units for the season (which was supposed to be 20 races until the German race was called off). There are 20 races left this year, so from that point of view Alonso is in the same position as at the start of 2015. However only Sauber managed to make a non Mercedes power unit last the season without penalty (every Mercedes powered team managed as well). It is possible, but so far not many have worked out how. It will be interesting to see if Raikkonen has damaged anything following the fire that ended… Read more »

jakobusvdl

Really good point MIE, about Raikkonen, as well as the fire, wasn’t the cause of the retirement a gearbox issue?
So a few mechanical concerns for Ferrari.

jakobusvdl

I think Alonso’s perspective is about right, he’s lucky he was not ‘ heavily damaged’ in the barrel- rolling end to his Aussie GP. Thank goodness the fastest component of the McHonda is still usable.
On more upside is, if McLaren need more than 4 more p.u’s to get through the season, the penalties will eliminate some of the confusion from the new qualifying format lottery.

MIE

Regardless if they are reliable enough to get through the season within the allowed limits, I think that they need to bring new developments to the track faster than once every five races in order to catch up with the more powerful units.

jakobusvdl

Yeah, it would be fascinating to know what Honda’s development strategy looks like. One way or another McLaren & Honda have a big performance gap to close if they want to be challenging for podiums and wins again.
Ferarri did it over the off-season last year, RedBull TAG seem to have made a big step in p.u performance since last season, so it can be done.

Daniel Sebergsen

Anyone who knows what that thing spraying out of Alonsos car was? Looked yellowish

228929292AABBB

This subject reminds me, watching Alonso’s accident footage, are we quite quite sure this piece of junk didn’t suffer a brake failure? Would we know – nothing about telemetry’s public, right? Probably simply a racing incident but one wonders.

Or, more wind…