The first test was already a nightmare for McLaren as the team went through a whopping five Honda power units in four days, costing them a significant amount of track time, and it looks like things aren’t getting any better.
After just 34 laps of running in the morning session of the second test Vandoorne’s car was sidelined with an electrical issue. This forced the team to fit the car with a fresh Honda engine in order to get back out on track in the afternoon.
Honda have completely overhauled the power unit for 2017 but are still unsure as to what seems to be causing the problems.
“We detected an electrical issue with the PU (power unit) in Stoffel’s car,” read a statement from Honda. “In the interest of maximising track time, we opted to replace it and investigate the issue further once the PU is out of the car. The PU we are using today is the same spec as the PU run last week at test one.”
While it sucks that the reliability of the Honda engines still seems to be some way off, it also has the knock-on effect of denying McLaren and the drivers track time in the new MCL32. With just three more days of pre-season testing before the first race in Melbourne the team are running out of valuable time to gather all the data they’d like to.
Eric Boullier confirmed the frustrations of the problems, saying “It’s frustrating for everybody. When you don’t have a lot of days of testing you want to make the most of it. It’s frustrating for Stoffel and for us as well. The less we run, the less we learn the cars and the more we run behind on our development programme.”
Oh dear oh dear. Maybe Fernando might make up his mind on whether to stay in F1 before the summer break after all.