McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Stoffel Vandoorne completed 34 laps without problem during the first few hours of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona on Tuesday, the positive vibes were soon to be short-lived however.
The Belgian found himself in the all too familiar position of being resigned to the garage for the next few hours, Honda engine issues once again the cause of the Woking based teams woes so far this pre-season.
That prompted Honda to complete an engine change for Vandoorne so that the Japanese manufacturer could investigate the issues discovered during the morning’s running further, whilst still allowing the Belgian a chance of getting back out on track at some point in the day, for some much needed running ahead of the season opener in Australia.
A spokesperson for Honda confirmed to media that an electrical failure with the PU had caused the problems experienced.
“We detected an electrical issue with the PU in Stoffel’s car. In the interest of maximising track time, we opted to replace it and investigate the issue further once the PU is out of the car.
“The PU we are using today is the same spec as the PU run last week at test one.”
That setback was clearly not the start to the second week of testing that McLaren needed, having already lost two days of crucial track time in the first test, because of similar Honda engine inadequacies. With just over two weeks left until the first round of the championship gets underway, it leaves the Woking based squad with very little time to make any changes, and puts them very much on the back foot ahead of that first race.
To add insult to injury, McLaren are now the only team not to have not posted a lap time under 1 minute 22 seconds during testing, as their disastrous pre-season looks set to continue on.