Alonso: McLaren are so slow others can’t tell when we’re on quick laps

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso says misunderstandings with the Red Bull drivers during practice and qualifying were caused because they couldn’t tell when he was on a flying lap.

Alonso was heard complaining on his radio during qualifying that Daniel Ricciardo had spoiled his lap. However he believes his car’s low straight-line speed led Red Bull to believe he was not on a flying lap.

“[It was] the same with Max [Verstappen] yesterday,” said Alonso. “I think the start of the lap probably they get confused, because our speed is that slow, that they think probably we go to the pit lane, we are in a slow lap.”

“But no, this is our speed, we are starting a timed lap, is the way it is. I think they get surprised a little bit. They overtake me in the first corner, I overtake them in the second corner, and we both lose the laps, yesterday and today.”

“It didn’t have any impact because it was in the beginning of the session when the tyres are cold and I think we both set the fastest laps at the end of the run, so that was OK. I’m sorry if they are confused because of our speed but that’s the way it is.”

Alonso was eliminated in Q1 for the first time this year in qualifying at Baku. He says the team’s only hope of a good result tomorrow is if other drivers hit trouble.

“We’ve never been in the top ten so far in the any of the sessions so I guess tomorrow is also going to be difficult for us,” he said.

“We saw on the practice many incidents, many things going on in this circuit. We need to keep focused, we need to keep the concentration very high, away from the walls, and hopefully finish the race in a good result.”

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    28 comments on “Alonso: McLaren are so slow others can’t tell when we’re on quick laps”

    1. Again somebody makes a 1-liner which I should’ve made ;)

      1. Luis de la garza
        24th June 2017, 20:20

        I’m sure the situation is incredibly frustrating for a 2 time wdc. Cut him some slack! He’s just trying to have fun

    2. These headlines starting to sound like ‘yo mama’ jokes

      1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        24th June 2017, 18:51

        @mrboerns indeed!

      2. ‘Yo Honda is so slow……we treat it as a moving chicane.’
        Sorry…I’ll get my coat

      3. Hahaha

        It’s true. So far we’ve heard

        “We can take all corners flat out!”
        “We are so slow, it looks like a warm up lap”

        Any others I’m missing out on?

      4. Alex McFarlane
        25th June 2017, 8:41

        Honda is so slow, yo’ mama could push it faster round the track.

    3. It’s they’re praticing one-liners at McLaren and trying to come up with the craziest one so far every race, so as to make sure Honda actually consents to a no-penalty split.

      And frankly, I’d do the same.

      1. @mxmxd But frankly, that’s the last thing you should do with a Japanese company. Public humiliation will not make them work harder/better, on the contrary: if you put a Japanese company/man to shame for others to see/hear, that’s normally a free ticket to not needing to do your best anymore.

        1. @addvariety that would actually explain a lot

        2. @addvariety Probably, but we can certain wonder if that would change a damn thing at this point.

        3. Fine, but years of back patting from Alonso and McLaren don’t seem to have done much good either, do they?

        4. @addvariety that’s somewhat offensive. Have you ever met a Japanese person?

          Honda are doing their best and will continue to do so. Losing face is very bad in Japanese culture and doing your best and succeeding is very much at it’s core.

          Honda may not have been successful yet and may not be in the current rules of F1, who knows, but there is no need for misrepresentation and generalisation or doubting Honda and their engineering team’s efforts. I’m sure they are busting a nut to try to improve.

          1. @tdm

            Yes, I’ve met and worked with Japanese people. I can assure you that losing face is bad in a lot of cultures, and although the Japanese find it ego crushing there are other cultures equally offended by it.

            I honestly cannot find any saving grace for Honda. They’ve dragged themselves and McLaren through the mud. I think they completely deserve any insult thrown at them regardless of whether it is offensive in their culture or not.

            1. @todfod Honda may deserve any critique, I’m no fan of Honda, though I wish them well. However saying that Japanese people duck responsibility when you put them to shame is offensive to an entire country not Honda.

              Japanese work culture has many flaws but that’s not one of them.

          2. @tdm Late reply, but yes… my wife is Japanese. I let her read this, her reply: “no, this isn’t offensive in any way, it’s a factual statement about the Japanese culture”.

            And back to the topic at hand: it’s not about misrepresentation. Just look at Indy and how much Honda engines blow up compared to Chevy. Or shall I ask you about the state of Honda in MotoGP?

            I love Honda as a brand (not as much as Toyota which is my favourite, but still) but they’re lost and won’t get it fixed at all. There’s just something wrong at the core of the company, both in consumer cars and in motorsport. Final example: the new NSX. It’s basically a fail on all aspects. It doesn’t look particularly interesting, it tries to mimic the hypercars with its hybrid engine, but also tries to mimic the Nissan GT-R by keeping a fairly low price, but fails at all. It doesn’t produce a nice noise, it doesn’t driver that well and the most important: it isn’t true to its roots.

            1. @addvariety, that’s lovely for you, my wife is also Japanese so we can cancel out that bit of playground one upmanship.

              Evidently different opinions for different folks but I disagree whole heartedly and don’t really see how you can think that if you are around Japanese culture but fine. My main issue is the generalisation of it but as I say whatever, you are free to have an opinion.

    4. The speed difference yesterday was downright dangerous.

    5. It was in Canada too

    6. At least the struggles at McLaren are allowing us to see and hear Alonso’s personality. The fact that he seems to be having fun with this is leading me to believe he already has his next ride in hand.

    7. Alonso: McLaren are so slow others can’t tell when we’re on quick laps

      Simultaneous laughter and tears…

    8. “Stand up!”
      “I am standing up!”

    9. I’m not sure why Alonso is complaining so much about this qualifying. He was only 0.01 slower than wherlein to qualify for q2 and only a few tenths off 10-15 despite the power issues. If he can stay clear of trouble and hopefully the pu stays intact he has a chance of fighting for at least 10th which is a plus given theor situation

      1. He was only 0.01 slower than wherlein to qualify for q2


        You’re right. He should be encouraged after putting in a stellar lap and yet trailing the slowest car on the grid.

      2. Only to run out of fuel with 3 laps to go

    10. Saurabh (@sksahukanker62)
      25th June 2017, 7:57


    11. Got to love Alonso’s wry sense of humor. But while understanding the frustration (and certainly no stranger to outburst myself): you are paid about 40 million USD a year. Then it IS a rather tall order to repeatedly rubbish your employer in public.

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