2015 saw the rekindling of a once formidable alliance between McLaren and Honda. In a time of Mercedes domination McLaren knew that to start winning they needed their own engine and looked for that from Honda. There were high hopes but fast forward two years to 2017 winter testing and the ‘kinks’ have still not been ironed out.
The first week of winter testing saw a less than successful time for McLaren, first they had problems with the shape of their fuel tank and then the redesigned engine for this year had to be replaced.
In the first few days of the second round of testing there were once again problems for the team. Once again there was an engine problem causing the car to break down.
Despite there being one day of testing left McLaren are still not worried. But should they be?
Although they have managed to complete a race distance they have the second least amount of laps and still haven’t hit below 1:22. This time is valuable for the drivers to get to know the car, especially Stoffel Vandoorne who is about to enter his first full season in Formula 1. The engine McLaren are testing with is not the engine they plan to start the season with so yet again their drivers aren’t fully able to get to know the car.
McLaren are a team with a rich winning history, especially when partnered with Honda yet something seems to be lacking here. Teething problems were to be expected and now a new overhaul of the regulations has caused more problems for the team. Only time will tell if the team will return to their glory days.