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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Honda says Alonso relationship in several place from “GP2 engine” second

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Alonso and Honda will re-unite in F1 from 2026 now that the two-time world champion has signed a contract extension with Aston Martin.

It marks a renewal of a partnership that triggered quite a lot of frustration after they had been at McLaren collectively from 2015 to 2017, as Honda’s engines proved to be uncompetitive.

The partnership reached a public nadir on the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix when Alonso famously got here on crew radio and labelled the Honda a “GP2 engine”.

The troubled relationship had prompted some doubts about whether or not Alonso and Honda might work collectively once more, however that debate has now been put to mattress with their future in F1 sorted.

Honda Racing Company president Koji Watanabe has now defined that his firm’s relationship with Alonso has moved on drastically.

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Talking about working with Alonso once more following the tough feedback he made within the McLaren period, Watanabe mentioned: “After I labored with him from 2015 to 2017, it was a really tough scenario for each Honda and the crew.

“It was a very irritating interval in our historical past, and there have been instances when our relationship was strained.

“However, I believe we now have turn into stronger as a result of we overcame that frustration. Alonso has additionally been very energetic since then.

“I am glad that we are able to overcome that painful expertise collectively and battle collectively for victory as soon as once more. I hope that we are able to purpose for the championship collectively and win collectively.”

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Workforce

Picture by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Watanabe has revealed that he started speaking to Alonso once more on the finish of final 12 months, with Honda’s 2026 cope with Aston Martin having made it doable they might find yourself working collectively once more.

“I spoke with him in Las Vegas,” he mentioned. “On the time, he hadn’t selected his subsequent contract but.

“However Alonso got here after we had been speaking with [team principal] Mike Krack. He mentioned: ‘Good luck’ and ‘If we now have an opportunity, let’s race collectively.’ We simply spoke a couple of phrases.”

Alonso’s troubled historical past with Honda had not been ignored by Aston Martin because it concluded negotiations to turn into the Japanese producers’ works companion from 2026.

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However following discussions about whether or not there can be any drawback in him staying on board for the brand new period, Honda made it clear that it was delighted to have him.

“We had many conversations with Aston Martin concerning our partnership beginning in 2026,” added Watanabe.

“Throughout that point, we exchanged opinions about drivers too and we shared an understanding between us and Aston Martin that Alonso was positively a top-class driver.

“Aston Martin requested us if there can be any issues from Honda in the event that they prolonged Alonso’s contract. The scenario was shared at varied levels.

“However Honda didn’t make any requests concerning this matter. In any case, we must always naturally focus on what sort of driver line-up we have to win, and it was on this context that the crew determined to increase Alonso’s contract.”

Watch: Alonso Commits to Aston Martin with Multi-12 months Extension

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