Following a number of issues with its engines during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona this week, Honda has apologised to McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne for the lack of track time available to them.
An oil system leak for Alonso on Monday and a power unit failure for Vandoorne on Tuesday, kept both drivers resigned to the garage for the majority of their scheduled day, with the team only able to complete 69 laps across those first two days of testing.
Honda removed both failing engines from the cars to allow the drivers to continue with their testing programme, whilst back at the factory an investigation was launched into the cause of the issues.
So far, an answer has not been found, but Honda F1 engine chief Yusuke Hasegawa has commented on how sorry he is for the disruption.
“Obviously we are not happy to have trouble, but this is a test – and we are feeling sorry for both drivers.
“So, we need to find out what has happened in the day two engine especially.”
The Japanese manufacturer had been due to run an Australia-spec engine during the second week of testing, which takes place between March 7 – 10, and once they have found the cause of the failures, they will apply adjustments to this model accordingly.
“We didn’t know the exact cause of the problem of yesterday’s engine, but so far we didn’t change anything.
“Because we don’t know the cause of the problem we can’t tell [what progress will be like] but I believe we can of course solve the issue before Melbourne.”
Hasegawa confirmed that which mark engine they end up running in week two, would depend on the findings from their investigations.
“It depends on what the problem of yesterday’s engine was, but we are supposed to introduce the same spec engine for Melbourne [that we will run] next week of course.”
The F1 engine chief did advise that a temporary fix is now in place to resolve Monday’s oil tank issue, and there were no further stoppages on day three, which is one thing less to worry about for McLaren, who had hoped this would finally be the year they could make a return to form.
“So far we can live with the current modified oil tank, but obviously through the season we always try to improve the system.
“So if we have the chance we may try to introduce some more oil tank modification but so far I don’t think it is a problem to run with this one.”