Day 1 of the second test in 2018 didn’t start well for McLaren who suffered two stoppages due to electrical issues as well as some heat related concerns with their bodywork. Managing only 38 laps was not how McLaren would have wanted their day to go and it is starting to look like a case of déjà vu.
Meanwhile, Ferrari hammered out 171 laps with Red Bull and Sauber on their tail at 130 and 120 respectively. Max Verstappen did have an issue with his Red Bull and Renault say that what both McLaren and Red Bull were experiencing were battery system issues. Renault say they are using these test to vet energy store systems and as the drivers only get two for the entire season, it is critical to find the best systems and weed out the ones with potential issues.
Once again, the encouraging team of the day is Toro Rosso and their new Honda engine who piled up another 54 laps with their fastest being .5s off the fastest pace. The team did suffer a brake problem.
I’m still holding my breath but I did say last year that it would not surprise me if Honda move to STR and immediately do better and if McLaren can’t come to terms with the new Renault engine, then it will suggest the issue may not have been purely Honda’s after all.
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m20.649s||0.253s||130|
|5||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m20.973s||0.577s||54|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m21.643s||1.247s||93|
Day two hasn’t started much better for McLaren with an oil leak prompting an engine change but Fernando Alonso did manage to get back out on track to rack up some seriously needed mileage in the morning session. Eventually he stopped again on the on the escape road at turn 7.