Fernando Alonso: McLaren driver ‘surprised’ by criticism

Formula 1

Alonso will start the Italian Grand Prix from the back of the grid as a result of Honda fitting a new, upgraded engine to his car in first practice

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso says he is “surprised” by claims he retired a healthy car at the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard emphasised the ways he had shown his commitment to McLaren despite an uncompetitive and unreliable car.

He said: “It seems people forgot I have been racing here for three years and fighting [at the back of the grid].

“I gave my maximum at starts. I pushed the car uphill in Hungary to try to get another chance in qualifying. I tried to race with a broken rib in Bahrain.”

He added: “When I read that, I think people are not very concentrated on the real things that happen.”

McLaren’s engine partner Honda has said it could find no problems with the power unit