McLAREN WOES CONTINUE: McLaren had a disastrous weekend - Fernando Alonso (above) and team mate Jenson Button retired from the 2015 Canadian GP. Image: AFP / Paul Chiasson
MONTREAL, Canada - Fernando Alonso warned McLaren during the 2015 Canadian GP that the team was making him look like an amateur.
He was suffering another dismal race, this time at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Montreal.
Told by his race engineer over the car radio to save fuel after only 24 of the 70 scheduled laps, he expressed his dismay by exclaiming: "I don't want. I don't want."
The engineer retorted: "We're going to have big problems later if we don't."
He replied: "Already I have big problems now. Driving with this, looking like amateur. So I race and then I concentrate on the fuel.”
Alonso, who left Ferrari at the end of 2014, hasn’t scored a point in the seven races so far in 2015 as McLaren struggles to get to grips with a misfiring Honda power unit.
Neither he nor team mate Jenson Button finished the race. The retirement was Alonso's third in a row, something he had not known since he raced for now-defunct Minardi back in his 2001 debut season.
Button had started last, with an additional drive-through penalty, after engine problems prevented him from taking part in qualifying.
While Button showed his frustration after the 2015 Spanish GP in May but then finished eighth in Monaco, Alonso has been resolutely on-message so far despite his passionate reputation.
Alonso later explained that it had been but a simple disagreement.
Alonso said: "You are fighting and then you get to a group of cars where some people catch you and they are faster than you. You look like an amateur driver and that's not good.
"We know we are not super-competitive, that we need to improve reliability. There are many things to do in our case. The weekend has provided us with some lessons to improve things. It was not easy here in Canada."
Racing director Eric Boullier played down the remarks: "I saw him after the race and he was OK. It is easy to understand, you want to race and you have to save tyres and fuel and then you go into another territory.
“The more you save, the less you charge the batteries, so then you have a problem, then your tyres cool down and it is a mess."
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.