Gearbox issues force early finish for Alonso

© XPB 

Fernando Alonso confirmed that a gearbox problem on his McLaren-Honda were the reason why the team had decided to retire him from the Grand Prix of Europe nine laps before the finish.

"We had an issue with the gearbox, that was getting worse and worse, so to avoid bigger issues, with the engine and other parts of the car, we had to retire.

"We weren’t in the points so it wasn’t a very costly retirement."

With the race lacking the mayhem and high numbers of retirements that many had been predicting, Alonso spent all but three laps of the race outside the top ten which he said was down to an lack of speed in the car,

"As it always happens when we are outside the points the race was uneventful, there weren’t even any yellow flags! We were hoping for something to happen ahead of us, as we were outside the points.

"After watching the GP2 races we all expected to see a lot of incidents, safety car periods and so on, but, in the end, it was a pretty standard race with no action.

"The exception was the start, were there was a bit of excitement, I even managed to pass [Lewis] Hamilton going into Turn One and was up to 7th or 8th, but there was no room between [Max] Verstappen and the wall, so I had to lift to make sure my race didn’t end up there. I lost a few places and after the first lap it was a completely normal race.

"But the most important thing for us is that we didn’t have the pace today and, as we all know, things are much easier when you have the speed. If we could have a weekend like Force India had here, as others had elsewhere, then everything comes easier."

And according to Alonso, things don't look any more promising for McLaren in the upcoming races in 2016.

"We knew this was going to be a difficult circuit for us, Austria could also be tough, Spa, Monza and Mexico will certainly be, so there are quite a few races left that will be difficult for us."

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