Belgium driver Stoffel Vandoorne has become the latest McLaren employee to slam the efforts of Japanese engine manufacturer Honda.
The disappointing ‘two test’ form of the McLaren-Honda collaboration, highlighted further reliability issues which threaten to ruin Stoffel’s long awaited return to the grid.
Stoffel has waited patiently for his opportunity in Formula one, after winning the GP2 series back in 2015. This year was to be his big break, after impressing last year when he stood in for an injured Fernando Alonso. Vandoorne’s second coming, also comes at a time when the Honda power unit is under even more scrutiny than ever.
After being part of the McLaren-Honda partnership from the start, the frustration is now starting to show.
“It is true I have been with McLaren-Honda since the beginning and the last two years were difficult for us and we have seen some progress in that time which has been encouraging,” he said.
“Everybody came to testing expecting with a definite step forward so to see the problems we are facing now was a bit unexpected which is far from ideal.
“This is the situation as it is now so we can’t sit still and do nothing we have to work very hard together and make sure we push everybody in the right direction to make sure we move on.”
Spanish team-mate Fernando Alonso has already spoken of his frustration over the Japanese firms lack of progress, on the back of a major engine design change over the winter. However, Vandoorne insists the two of them are working hard to move the team forward.
“We’ve spoken a lot together which is normal because it is winter testing at the start of the season. We know the situation is not ideal yet and we are pushing very, very hard together to make the team move forward.
“I think the team has been very, very professional in difficult moments. All the mechanics and the guys back at the factory have kept their head down being professional and trying to get the most out of every lap we do.”
All eyes are on Honda to make the step change many expected in 2016. If this fails to materialise then we will most certainly be in for some fruity radio chat, aiming straight for Honda HQ.