Two days testing, two Honda problems. Fernando Alonso didn’t get too much mileage yesterday as a result, and it looks like Stoffel Vandoorne’s day isn’t going to be much better.
Honda don’t do themselves any favours. They’ve endured heat from the press regularly during their return to Formula One with McLaren. This season, it was expected that Honda had turned a corner, maybe they have, but the early signs are nothing short of embarrassing.
After the oil leak put Alonso out of the morning session, it was revealed by Honda that the issue may be down to the design of the oil tank as opposed to a one-off mess-up. This is surely a greater cause for concern.
Today, Stoffel Vandoorne managed 28 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya before his Power Unit simply lost power. Honda released this statement:
“We lost power to the power unit. At the moment we don’t know what has caused the issue. We are currently changing the power unit in order to investigate fully and identify the cause. We will update you when we have further information.”
– Honda Spokesperson
Other teams have suffered blips, it’s expected in testing and you can’t criticise teams for this as they pursue a better understanding of their creations in the real world. But there can’t be any excuses for how Honda have hindered McLaren’s opening two days of testing. Half of the first test will have concluded by the end of today’s running, and McLaren haven’t had a smooth day yet. Like yesterday’s issue, today won’t be a quick fix.
The ambition this season was to reclaim some former glory, McLaren have been a staple race-winning team for such a long time, but instead of rekindling former glory, they have awoken a much fresher former headache in the form of Honda attrition.