Fernando Alonso has dismissed claims he was frustrated during the Canadian Grand Prix after being told to save fuel whilst battling at the back, prompting speculation his commitment to the project is waning.
The Spaniard eventually retired from the race, but not before likening McLaren-Honda’s performance to that of “amateurs” whilst refusing calls to save fuel.
“I don’t want, I don’t want,” he said over the radio when his race engineer called for fuel saving. “I have really big problems now, driving with these and looking like amateurs. So I race and then I concentrate on the fuel.”
Explaining his comments, he said he simply wanted to have some fun whilst battling rivals on track before focussing on fuel saving later in the race when he had clear air.
“We are 35 km/h behind Ferrari on the straights, we had to save fuel, we had to save tyres because we were stopping once, and I was fighting with them.
“After two or three messages I told them to let me fight now and have some fun and then I’ll save fuel at the end of the race when were are alone.”
Addressing his commitment to McLaren-Honda, he rubbished claims he’s tiring of their lack of peformance and insists his move from Ferrari is still the correct decision.
“It is what it is,” he said. “I know from the outside they [the media] want to crush us. We are going through a bad streak and we can’t do anything else but continue working.
“The team is doing all it can and there will be better moments. Now what we have to do is work and look at every detail of the car,” he added.
“We can’t forget we [Ferrari] were here last year finishing fifth or sixth desperate because there was no one who could catch Mercedes.
“Instead of fighting for sixth or seventh we took a risky decision, which was going to McLaren-Honda.
“This year we are paying the price of it being the first year and having a lot of things to do, but otherwise I’d be here talking about having finished fifth or sixth.
“I believe in this project. I’m enjoying the experience. Everything I see has coherence and optimistic for the future, which is something I couldn’t see before. So, patience.”