By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Honda has confirmed that Fernando Alonso’s power unit, which was under threat of being damaged from the opening lap crash in Singapore, has been cleared for use in the upcoming Malaysian Grand Prix.
The incident came after Alonso made a blazing start, but was a victim of circumstances following the collision between Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen. Alonso continued on for a handful of laps later before being forced to retire.
Amid concerns of a damaged power unit, Yusuke Hasegawa, executive chief engineer and head of the F1 project for Honda R&D Co. Ltd, admitted everything is set to be “re-used” at the Sepang International Circuit.
“We were concerned that it may have been irreparably damaged, but fortunately after a thorough check back at the Sakura factory we can confirm it is okay to be re-used,” said Hasegawa.
After losing out on a potentially solid points outing, Alonso is undoubtedly frustrated but aims to fight on.
“After Singapore, I’m already eager to get back into the car and hopefully make it further than the first corner in Malaysia!” exclaimed the 36-year-old Spaniard.
“Of course, what happened was disappointing and it’s difficult to hide your frustration when you’re the victim of someone else’s incident. I felt we had the potential to be really competitive – one of our only opportunities of the year – and it’s a shame we couldn’t bring home the points to prove it, but these things happen.
“The conditions in Malaysia will be very similar to Singapore – hot, humid and challenging for the drivers and the car. The configuration will work less in our favor, but of course we will still fight for everything. There are six races left and we are still putting all our energy in finishing every race in the best possible position we can.
“Sepang will be more difficult for us in terms of set-up since the straights require good straight-line speed and power, but this track is a mixture of a lot of different characteristics, so we’ll see how much we can make up on the slower-speed corners. The 2018 cars will definitely be faster through there, which will surely be fun to experience, and I hope we can avoid any drama and have a solid race.”