So what that Alonso is racing the Indy 500?

Oliver Turvey driving the McLaren-Honda round the track during the Bahrain test in Sakhir

Oliver Turvey driving the McLaren-Honda round the track during the Bahrain test in Sakhir

Alonso revealed before the Bahrain race that he would not take part in the Monaco Grand Prix at the end of May in order to race a Honda-powered auto for the Andretti Autosport team in the Indy 500 in the United States, his McLaren seat being filled for the Monte Carlo race by former team-mate Jenson Button.

Later, when told by McLaren it was considering a strategy switch to "Plan B", he replied simply: "Do whatever you want, man".

But after retiring at the season-opening race in Australia and then in China, Alonso feels the auto is going backwards.

Stoffel Vandoorne failed to start the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, a year on from his Formula One debut at the desert track, as engine woes continued to plague former champions McLaren.

Alonso, who is hoping to win the Indy 500 in order to claim part two of a potential Triple Crown, says he knew some figures in the F1 paddock would be vocally against the idea.

Indian army draws ire for using local as human shield in Srinagar
Last month, a photo of an 11-year-old Kashmiri boy being forced to do sit-ups by Indian troops triggered widespread condemnation. Several hundred comments were posted in response to another video that showed Kashmiri youth beating paramilitary forces.

"Alonso: "[BLEEP] he was, what, 300 metres behind us on the straight?"

McLaren struggled all of last season after switching back to Honda engines, finishing sixth in the constructors' championship and with no podium finishes for the once-dominant team. "When you can not even start the race, it's incredible". Sometimes I looked in the mirrors at the beginning of the straights and saw the other cars 300, 400 metres behind, so I forgot completely about that vehicle and started changing settings on the steering wheel and doing my own things, then the next thing I see when I come on the brakes is that auto alongside me.

"Come Europe we will start to see some new things on the auto and power unit which will hopefully bring improvements". "We were running close to the points but that's not enough". "You don't enjoy the battle".

With no end to Honda's issues in sight, Zak Brown would do well to seek out other events for Fernando and Stoffel to attend.

"In Russia the engine also counts a lot, so hopefully Barcelona [round five] is the first race without so many straights and we can be a bit more competitive". "It was a bad day, there's no point pretending otherwise".

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