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Alonso could get Honda engine upgrade in Mexico

23 October 2017

Fernando Alonso could use Honda’s updated Formula 1 engine at the upcoming Mexican Grand Prix after his engine failed at the Circuit of the Americas.

The two-time world champion was in the top ten, when a problem with his car’s MGU-H forced him into the pits to retire. McLaren engine supplier Honda had prepared an updated engine for the race, but this went to Alonso’s teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, who was already in need of an engine change and therefore already expecting a penalty.

Honda had hoped that Alonso could run his current power unit until the end of the season, and therefore avoid any further grid penalties. However, the MGU-H failure means that Alonso will be getting a penalty anyway, so the team may as well capitalise and utilise the new, upgraded engine.

Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda’s F1 project leader, said he believed Alonso and Vandoorne could have both scored points at Austin, had McLaren not been hampered by substantial grid penalties and the failure of Alonso’s engine.

“We had reasonably good performance…If we didn’t have an issue, Alonso would have scored points. We could have finished  sixth or seventh. If Stoffel had started 14th, he could have aimed to score points, too,” he said.

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