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Fernando Alonso: Lessons must be learned from engine issues

OLIVIER MATTHYS/AFP/Getty Images

After his second power unit problem in as many days, McLaren driver Fernando Alonso hopes the 'painful' issues must be understood so Honda can identify its weaknesses as quickly as possible.

An upgraded Honda power unit was fitted to both McLaren's this weekend, and while it has run without issue in Jenson Button's car, Alonso has suffered two failures so far. The first came after three laps in first practice, but was down to a water leak related to the MGU-H and not the updated engine and turbocharger.

An all-new power unit was fitted ahead of second practice, but an anomaly was detected during final practice and in qualifying Alonso's outlap lasted just four corners before he pulled over with another problem.

"It is painful when you have these reliability problems but that is part of our learning process," he said. "We need to understand what is too fragile in the power unit, reinforce that part and make sure we have an engine that is capable of fighting for the championship

"If there is one part in the power unit that is not strong enough then we need to reinforce it for next year especially. Let's take the positive side of all these problems and try not to repeat them."

Asked if the Honda upgrade offered a boost in performance, Alonso added: "I think so. On the dyno it is better and on Jenson's side it is delivering the power. On my side too but I had 4 laps today. I will tell you tomorrow when I am fighting side by side with someone."

Speaking after his Q1 elimination from qualifying, Alonso did not know the exact problem but said it was likely he would take another new power unit for Sunday's race.

"We need more investigations [to understand the issue]," he said. "We saw a problem in FP3 and we need time before qualifying to do a proper investigation.

"In qualifying we only did 500m so it was something really wrong. We have time now to change the PU again, we start last anyway so make sure that tomorrow is better to do a race without any problems"