Fernando Alonso says Honda's power deficit cost McLaren 2.5 seconds per lap on Sochi's straights during qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix.
Alonso qualified 15th on Saturday after what he described as a "perfect" lap, but did not have the pace to progress beyond Q2. His lap in Q1 was 2.3s slower than the fastest time of the same session set by Valtteri Bottas, and Alonso believes all of that gap -- and more -- was down to Honda's lack of power.
"It was a good qualifying in terms of the performance of the chassis and aerodynamics," Alonso said. "I felt the car was quite good, in the corners quite grippy. I felt competitive also in Q1, the lap was very good. I think I was seven-tenths in front of Stoffel [Vandoorne, Alonso's McLaren teammate]. He won all the categories until Formula 1, dominating, so I feel great, I feel competitive.
"We were losing 1.3 seconds on the pit straight today compared to the other ones, so I think it's 2.5 seconds or 3.0 seconds on the straights on the whole circuit. We knew this circuit is quite power-effect sensitive, so we knew that we were not going to be very competitive here."
The comments came just one day after the FIA revealed that the performance of the other three engine manufacturers was now covered by as little as 0.3s. To add to McLaren's misery, Alonso is expecting to struggle with fuel consumption in the race as the Honda engine is not only inefficient compared to its rivals, it's lack of power means more time is spent at full throttle on the straights.
Last year, Alonso finished the Russian Grand Prix sixth after making up eight positions on the first lap, but he does not think the same will be possible on Sunday.
"I think the deficit is too much. Also the fuel consumption will be huge for us due to the lack of power. So I think it's going to be difficult. To be in the points is going to be hard, so we need some help from the guys in front.
"Sometimes it happens like last year. The torpedo went into Turn 3 and we gained a lot of positions. We will do a good start and we will do a good strategy, and we will see what we can do at the end of the race. Hopefully a top 10."