I bet you can’t find a single happy face, at McLaren- Honda currently. Honda seems to have massive problems with their all new engine, for the 2017 season. After replacing the engine in their car during last night, they are currently aborting their day. The engine in Stoffel Vandoorne’s car decided it had enough!
Yesterday Fernando Alonso managed 29 laps with his car. Today, after the exact same number of laps, Vandoorne’s car died too. But that doesn’t mean the job is done. Oh no, for the mechanics it doesn’t seem to stop. For the second time in 24 hours Mclaren’s grease monkeys are replacing the engine in their car.
Honda’s V6 turbo seemed to be having oil problems yesterday, effectively cutting Alonso’s time in the car to a bare minimum. Honda blames this on their ‘all new’ oil tank, or rather the shape of it. Not only is it smaller than last year’s, but it has a different shape too. Reports from earlier this week saying that Honda has gone for a radical design seem to be true, after all.
Honda tried to tackle the problem during the night shift, but now it seems that was only a small patch to try to stop the bleeding. As things look now they are in need of a whole redesigning, of the oil tank. Speak about a major setback…
But the worst has yet to come. It seems now that the problem of the second test day isn’t down to a problem with the oil tank! Honda themselves are not giving any comment, at the moment, as to what exactly did break. But it seems that the Honda RA617H has more than one little problem. The second engine blow out means Honda currently only has one (spare) engine left in Spain. Apparently the Japanese manufacturer is flying a new one in as we speak. An attempt to survive the fourth day of testing?
The German ‘Auto, Motor und Sport’ are reporting that Honda is down on power, compared to their rivals. Which makes it even worse for both Alonso and Vandoorne, because it seems that McLaren (this time) built a decent car. Even with times of 1:24,852 (for Alonso) and 1:25,201 (for Vandoorne), both drivers seemed to be very positive about the handling.
Furthermore is the MCL32 model currently in Spain only a basic model to see if it is comparable to the data gathered in the wind tunnel and CDF simulations. McLaren engineers are promising massive changes before the the first Grand Prix in Australia. Question is: Can Honda change their game too, on such a short notice?