Honda ‘feels sorry’ for McLaren…don’t we all?

Testing always brings out the chinks in the armor and the issues but that’s what testing is meant to do and the teams overcome their deficiencies and get ready for the season-opening race in Australia in just a few weeks.

On the other side of that coin, the issue at hand is how disappointing it is to see McLaren, once again, struggling to put in any serious mileage on their new car…just like last year. After an oil leak on Monday sidelined the team, they had a complete engine failure on Tuesday and it wasn’t until Wednesday that they were able to put in over 70 laps.

For Honda’s part? Well, they feel sorry.

“Obviously we are not happy to have trouble, but this is a test – and we are feeling sorry for both drivers,” said Hasegawa. “So, we need to find out what has happened in the day two engine especially.”

Honda has brought a completely re-profiled power unit to the 2017 season so one would presume that any niggles might manifest themselves at the first test. It seems that’s the case.

“We didn’t know the exact cause of the problem of yesterday’s engine, but so far we didn’t change anything,” Hasegawa added.

“Because we don’t know the cause of the problem we can’t tell [what progress will be like] but I believe we can of course solve the issue before Melbourne.”

The idea now is to get on top of the issues and solve them quickly as there is just five more days of testing before the season starts and beyond getting the engine to run for serious mileage, the chassis itself has to be sorted and refined and you can’t do that when the engine isn’t working.

Team boss, Eric Boullier, is putting a brave face on the issues and says that none of the complications faced so far are fundamental to the car or engine but simply need to be addressed and you can appreciate keeping calm in the face of adversity.

“We have many issues,” he said. “None of them are fundamental – we don’t know yet, even Hasegawa-san, all of them, because yesterday’s engine is on its way to Japan.

“Today finally we can run, so we have some usual glitches, the ones you get on day one, but obviously we have them on day three.

“It is a new layout of the engine from Honda and obviously some unexpected glitches but nothing is fundamental.”

If McLaren’s launch didn’t create enough fan blowback, then the lack of testing miles and performance will surely do the trick. The team have been struggling for the past few seasons and after jettisoning former CEO Ron Dennis, one would presume they are moving forward in their program but as of now, their car didn’t seem to get the memo and one wonders if Honda did either.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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Eeeshh, what now?! Perhaps Honda needs to undertake a good long study of the Ford Tempo.

Jason Smith

Looking forward to Grace’s expletive-laden commentary!

Tim C

I would bet Jensen is really glad to be on the sidelines this year and not having to deal with that car.

Salvu Borg

One interesting fact for the attention of those blabbing about.
mchonda accumulated 963 km of testing, while STR accumulated 851.
As to packing order as per lap times, mchonda 8th, Force India 9th, STR 10th.


That puts things in a better light. At least they’ve been able to accumulate some decent distance, even if the times are still disappointing.
Fingers crossed that they can show further improvement in the next test.