He was an elephant and then a shark in China, but Fernando Alonso says he will need to be a "quick camel" in the desert on Sunday after more Honda engine woe in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Three days after the shock announcement he will contest this year's Indy 500 instead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Alonso was brought back to earth with a bang in Bahrain as his Honda engine blew up in Q2. The problem has been traced to the MGU-H and will require a full power unit change overnight.
Alonso has been driving around the limitations of Honda's troublesome power unit so far this season, saying he pushed "like a big animal" in China just to line up 13th, before mastering the wet start like a "shark" the following day, where he ran as high as sixth before retiring. With a bleak outlook for Sunday's race Alonso was happy to continue the animal-themed assessments of his chances.
"Here it has to be something from the heat," he said. "[I will be] a quick camel tomorrow!"
Alonso certainly had the hump after his Q2 failure, something he is convinced cost him a place higher up the order.
"The lap was good, until the last corner I was half a second faster than in Q1, but I went on the throttle and it blew up. Unfortunately that's the situation and we see tomorrow what we can do. The lap was good, we were going to be somewhere between 12th and 14th, again, as in the first two races, but the engine blew up and I just dived into the pits."
The Spaniard also used his Q1 lap times to once again point to the strength of McLaren's chassis, which the team believes is one of the best in the field.
"The midfield was extremely tight, we should have been between P12 and P14, in Q1 we were just 1,2s away from the faster car and with the power deficit we have, in this track, that clearly demonstrates we have one of the best chassis in the field."