Fernando Alonso has conceded his infamous “GP2 engine” comments would have been better left unsaid, but maintains he was expressing frustration any ‘top driver” would understand.
Reflecting on his tumultuous time with McLaren-Honda in his interview with F1 Racing, the two-time world champion admitted his tirade broadcast during the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix would have been better-off relayed behind closed doors, if at all.
“It came from a place of frustration and maybe I should not say that, but I didn’t say it in the TV pen or the press conference,” said the Spaniard.
“I was talking to my engineer in a private conversation [which was broadcast]. It was not meant to be public.
“But the engine was very bad. The first year in Jerez, in four days we did seven laps.”
Since leaving McLaren at the end of the 2018 season to join forces with Red Bull, Honda has gone on to win three grands prix with its vastly-improved power unit, but Alonso insists he doesn’t think about what could’ve been.
“Now Honda wins a race and I receive a lot of messages that read: ‘GP2 engine wins now, it should be a sad day for you.’
“I’m very happy, but the engine I had in the car was not the same as the one winning in Brazil.”
Having made his own exit from the sport at the end of the 2018 season, the Spaniard maintains his frustrations were that of any driver with championship aspirations — it’s just that his came with a bigger spotlight.
“If a top driver today goes through the performance that I went through, I could not imagine what they would say.
“In 2015 I was always fighting to get out of Q1 and had 575 places of penalties. I say things that I think and that I believe. That’s because I believe those things are the truth.
“Sometimes I can be wrong. But I don’t see things that I do that others are not doing. I don’t read extra things from what others are saying, but I see mountains and mountains of the things I say.”
Since his retirement from F1, Alonso has busied himself with by competing in various other forms of motorsport, including endurance racing, the Indy 500 and most recently, the Dakar Rally. Nevertheless, the 38-year-old has left the door open for a return to the grid, should the right opportunity present itself.