My criticisms were a boost for Honda – Alonso

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Fernando Alonso believes that publicly criticising McLaren’s engine supplier Honda has helped boost his team’s prospects for 2016.

The Spaniard mostly put a brave face on what has been a torrid campaign for the reunited partners amidst poor reliability and subpar performance. However, Alonso’s frustration was perceptible on several occasions, starting in Canada where he said that his package’s lack of competitiveness made him look like “an amateur”.

But the most telling sign of the double world champion’s irritation came during Honda’s home grand prix at Suzuka, with Alonso calling his power unit a “GP2 engine” over team radio.

Having insisted that the outburst was not aimed at Honda executives in the immediate aftermath of the incident, the 34-year-old thinks it may have helped the company grasp the urgency of the situation.

“A lot of radio messages they didn't broadcast, a lot of in-laps where we were very thankful of the team because it was very difficult,” Alonso told BBC Sport F1 for its end-of-season review.

“Sometimes they change three engines, we were taking one point, two point, close to the points. A lot of positive messages they never broadcast. In Japan, when they broadcast that, probably I knew they could broadcast it.

“The actions we need to take next year to be competitive [are] quite extreme.

“For big problems you need big solutions, and I think maybe that helped a bit for the big solutions.”

Alonso has firmly dismissed talks of him taking a sabbatical in 2016. The ex-Ferrari star is confident McLaren-Honda can bounce back next year and has set a minimum target of fighting for the podium.

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