The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team will be hoping that F1 testing does not start as it means to go on, having encountered an issue just one hour into proceedings at the Circuit-de-Catalunya-Barcelona this morning.
Driver Fernando Alonso had initially left the garage without problem, but could only complete one installation lap in the MCL32, before an oil system leak brought their session to an abrupt halt.
A Spokesperson for Honda confirmed the cause of the stoppage, adding that they would miss a good few hours of track time in order to get to the bottom of the issue.
“We have an oil systems issue which requires a full investigation.
“We plan to run again today, but due to the difficult access location it will take several hours to resolve.”
The reason for the lengthy time out, is believed to be due to the problem being at the front of the engine, which will take approximately four to five hours just to take apart, before the engineers can then get down to the business of finding the route cause.
Things had looked positive for the McLaren ahead of Testing, having successfully completed a 100 kilometre filming day at Barcelona on Sunday, but this morning’s incident was a huge blow for the squad who had been hoping to welcome in a new, brighter era under new CEO Zak Brown.
An all-new orange livery has been presented for this season’s campaign, and Honda have produced a completely new engine design, believed to be along the lines of the concept used by the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team in recent seasons, in the hope of boosting the team’s performance and getting themselves back to the sort of performance level we all expect from a team of McLaren’s calibre in the process.
With so many changes having taken place, this morning’s issue will have been the last thing McLaren needed.