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Honda "ashamed " at Alonso grid penalty

NEWS STORY
07/10/2017

Following two relatively stable outings - after all Fernando Alonso's first lap elimination in Singapore was the result of being caught up in the Vettel / Raikkonen / Verstappen clash - Honda was hoping for a trouble free home race - its last in partnership with McLaren - and possibly another double points finish.

However, hopes were dashed when it was revealed that the Spaniard had suffered a hydraulics leak to its power unit, necessitating the team breaking the curfew as it changed the engine in his car and thereby incurring a 35-place grid penalty and demoting him to the back of the grid.

At its home race, on its own circuit, it was not what Honda wanted.

"I'm very ashamed," Hasegawa told reporters. "We didn't have an engine failure, we had some hydraulic leakage, which we can change if we find the cause with enough time, but we couldn't, and that's why we need to change the engine."

"Knowing that we'd be starting last, meant qualifying wasn't too important for us," said Alonso. "Still, despite the penalty, we wanted to have a normal qualifying session and push; we have so many fans here - so many Honda supporters - and I think we succeeded and did a decent job.

"Of course, the race will be much different, starting form the back it'll be quite difficult to gain any advantage, but we'll try to do the best we can to close up to the top ten.

"Points would have been a difficult target even on a normal weekend, but since we're starting last, on a track with so many high-speed corners where you can't easily follow the cars in front, we'll need a lot of action in front of us if we want to make up some positions."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Suzuka, here.

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1. Posted by Nortim, 08/10/2017 15:04

"They should be ashamed of all 3 years with McLaren, not just that race. I was hoping so much they can do it with McLaren, but I wonder what the heck was going wrong all this time."

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