Yusuke Hasegawa has confirmed that Honda did not detect a problem with Alonso's engine during the Belgian Grand Prix. Alonso stated over the radio that there was an issue with his engine, causing the team to tell him to come into the pits to retire.
Alonso has made no secret of the fact that he's deeply unhappy with the McLaren-Honda partnership, and has reportedly informed the Woking squad that he will only sign an extension if Honda is dropped. After the Belgian Grand Prix, Hasegawa admitted there was no problem with the engine.
"We thought we had the possibility of scoring some points here in Belgium today, so it was disappointing that we finished the race outside of the top 10," Hasegawa said. "After starting brilliantly, Fernando then had a tough race overall. He radioed in with what he thought was a problem with the car. Although there was nothing showing in the data, we decided to stop the car as a precaution."
It is therefore likely that Alonso retired out of sheer embarrassment and couldn't stand to be passed so easily on the straight. Alonso stated that he hopes results soon follow after an incredibly tough afternoon at Spa-Francorchamps.
"For sure, is not easy to race like this, as you cannot have any good wheel-to-wheel battles," he said. "It was a difficult afternoon and we were not competitive in race trim. The car was too slow on the straights and it was impossible to have any battles out there, so points were also impossible today.
"Eventually, we had to stop due to an engine issue. The situation is what it is and we need to improve it as soon as we can. I know the team is working day and night improving the car, and we hope we can see the results soon."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing