Pre-season testing for the 2017 Formula One season has ended and by now, it is common knowledge that McLaren Honda are in a massive heap of trouble.
One man who insists they are not in a state of crisis is McLaren’s new executive director, Mr Zak Brown.
Over the eight days of testing, McLaren’s Honda engines have failed time and again, leaving their drivers in desperate need to track time and their engineers in desperate need of data.
Photo credit : James Deakin
These failures mean that McLaren Honda have completed the least amount of laps of any team during testing and put simply, are not in shape to take the chequered flag in Australia at the moment.
The point is that McLaren say that they have built a very good car with a great chassis and the fault solely lies with Honda, the ones who supply the power units.
This has put a great deal of stress on McLaren Honda relations.
However, in an interview with David Croft, Zak Brown has insisted that “McLaren will not walk away from Honda” and that the partnership is “not in crisis“.
“We have a long term contract and we’re going to work through it together”, said Mr Brown, “We have won championships with them in the past and they have the right people at work”.
It’s a bit of an Arsenal and Arsene Wenger situation with McLaren and Honda but I do hope they work through it.
However, it’s been a few years now and it hasn’t gotten any better. The contract runs out in 2024 and I don’t see how McLaren wouldn’t break contract if this went on for even another 3 years. Wait, if they haven’t delivered championships by then, that’s the Arsene Wenger situation, isn’t it?
Also, new information regarding the power unit problem has come to light. We know that the electrical systems have been a major contributing factor to the frequent failures on track. However, Sky Sports are reporting that the Honda engine has been producing huge amounts of vibrations that in turn cause the electrical systems to fail.
Photo credit : Mr Flow
You’ve got to feel for the drivers in all this, though. It is a horrible start to Stoffel Vandoorne’s F1 career and as for Fernando, it’s another year at the end of his career where he’s supposed to be at the front, but he’s no closer than last year. He’s probably even worse off.
“I’m driving at my best and I feel I’m still the best driver out there”, said the double world champion, “I just need an engine that can run as quick as the others on the straights”.
We’ll wait and see how McLaren Honda show up in Australia but they’ll have done bloody well if they can actually finish the race.
– Aditya Bhat.