After the hype over the change to orange livery, much was expected from the new Honda powered McLaren MCL32, but it has been a disappointing two days of testing at Circuit de Catalunya for the Woking based outfit.
Honda, who have produced a totally revised power unit for 2017, appear to once again have their sums all wrong as engine issues have plagued Fernando Alonso on the first day of the test, while rookie Stoffel Vandoorne also endured a frustrating second day in Barcelona.
Both drivers have had to dig deep into their reserves of diplomacy to explain away the problems they are having, Vandoorne said this of his first day in the cockpit, “At the moment we don’t know what the exact problem was.”
“We lost some power during the morning and we decided to change the engine so I think tonight Honda will analyse exactly what went wrong and they will probably give you an answer about it. Everybody is keeping their head down. This is only the second day of testing.”
“It’s maybe not the start like we hoped to have, obviously we wanted to do more laps yesterday and do more laps today but we are a professional team, we’re working very hard to solve the issues we had yesterday and today.”
“There are still six days left, which is not a huge amount, so we need to make the most of every lap we get on track. At the moment the team is working hard to solve the issues and make sure we have better days.”
Vandoorne only managed 40 laps during the course of the day, ending tenth fastest and a whopping 5.6 seconds adrift of the top time set by Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari.
“It’s still very early days,” insisted Vandoorne. “But like I said the first feeling was quite positive when I got in the car, in terms of pushing and being able to drive the car, so that was positive. In terms of actual performance it’s still very early to say.”
“We had two difficult days with not a lot of running, a lot of background tests that went on. We need to have a proper full day with a lot of laps to finally understand what we have in terms of package,” added Vandoorne.