McLaren says Honda troubles "unexpected"

McLaren says its troubled start to pre-season Formula 1 testing came as a surprise to the team, after the new Honda engine had run trouble-free during a filming day on Sunday.

McLaren says Honda troubles "unexpected"
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren, exits his garage carrying sensor equipment
Fernando Alonso, McLaren, puts on his gloves in his cockpit
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren, lowers himself into the cockpit
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren, puts on his gloves in his cockpit
McLaren team members push the McLaren MCL32 of Fernando Alonso, McLaren, in the pit lane

Fernando Alonso only managed to complete an installation lap in the first morning of testing after an oil system problem left him sidelined in the garage.

There were further mechanical hiccups with a fresh engine that was fitted later in the afternoon as the team finally managed to get some laps on the board.

But rather than view that stuttering start as a precursor to fresh troubles with Honda, McLaren racing director Eric Boullier said the situation was slightly baffling because Alonso had completed 100km without issues on Sunday.

"We had an oil system problem and that is all we know now," said Boullier, when asked by Motorsport.com about the team's situation.

"Honda has asked for the power unit to be sent back, and they are investigating what is going on and Honda will tell us what happened.

"It is obviously disappointing because yesterday we had a filming day, we did our 100km and more or less everything went right, so today it was a bit of a surprise to have this problem with the power unit. But we have to wait for Honda to come back to us."

With good progress from Honda expected to be key to Alonso's future at McLaren beyond the end of this year, Boullier said the troubles had not been ideal.

"Obviously he knows minute after minute what is going on, so he was not very happy this morning," explained Boullier about Alonso's reaction.

"But he was here yesterday so he drove the car yesterday for a few laps and he got a feel for the car, and I guess he was rather happy than unhappy yesterday. That is what he felt.

"But it was just a filming day with demo tyres, but he could already have a feel of the car. This morning was obviously unexpected and this is what it is. We are here to test as well, we are here to make sure that everything will be in order in Australia."

Honda strains

Boullier was insistent that the difficult start to testing did not share any similarities with its troubled preparations for 2015, and he also suggested the matter would not put fresh strains on the team's relationship with its Japanese engine partner.

"I think it is like any marriage: you can have some ups and downs," he said. "So far we went through a lot of stress in the last couple of years but we have built a positive and constructive relationship, so I don't expect this to change for the future."

Asked how Honda had reacted to what had happened, Boullier said: "I think they reacted as professional as you would expect.

"They were disappointed and rather than obviously driving everybody nuts around they just sat down, organised calls with Sakura in Japan and also we had some meetings together with us: just to start to maybe help an investigation, and also to decide what to do.

"This is why we decided to work together to take his PU off the car to let's say not let any suspicious thing stay on the car."

shares
comments
Tech analysis: Dissecting the new Red Bull RB13
Previous article

Tech analysis: Dissecting the new Red Bull RB13

Next article

Rival teams rejected F1 2017 shark fin ban, claims Red Bull

Rival teams rejected F1 2017 shark fin ban, claims Red Bull
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022