This time, Fernando Alonso is hugely frustrated by Honda’s early testing problems. Stoffel Vandoorne and Marketing Guru Zak Brown come head to head, and Ron Dennis takes the utter piss.
It is indeed a wave of early woes for McLaren-Honda. As a result of the past 48-hours, the team’s competitive expectations have declined rapidly from the outside. We spoke to F1 Hyperfan and bloke down every pub Andy Everypundit, who has been making pre-season testing predictions.
“McLaren are obviously going to finish last now. Mercedes are going to be fast, so are Ferrari, and Red Bull. I think Force India and Williams will be close behind, then maybe a fight between Haas, Renault and Toro Rosso will be just behind that. Sauber might be bringing up the rear.”
– Andy Everypundit
So, basically the 2016 running order, there or thereabouts?
– Andy Everypundit
The rest of Everypundit’s predictions were unpublishable due to an infinite sound-barrier of generalizations and a brain-fading nest of cliches.
In all seriousness, it isn’t the end for McLaren in 2017, it’s just the start that Honda didn’t need. It puts early pressure on the team to perform and reconcile these early issues. It sets their 2017 narrative off on a negative foot. Everyone who works for the team will be aware of this, a few days of poor form doesn’t make them any less hard-working than they obviously are as a collective.
Fernando Alonso has already stated that he want to move on, and think about the time he has left to prepare. He said,
“It’s definitely not the perfect start of winter testing. In terms of the performance point of view we have to concentrate and try to recover the time. We are disappointed, we are sad to arrive to the first day and not be able to run.
We are aware of the time we lost today, we have four days for each driver before the World Championship starts and now one day is gone. So I have three days to prepare a World Championship, so it’s not an ideal situation but it’s the way it is. There is nothing more we can do from today more than learn from whatever happened to the car and try to recover the time in the next days.”
– Fernando Alonso
McLaren Honda can’t afford to screw up another day of testing, the narrow window of preparatory time is too acute anyway. The climb up the order just got a tiny bit steeper.