Another day of testing and yet more McLaren Honda issues. Fernando Alonso, no less, has had a properly good dig at the Honda engine: When asked about taking a corner flat out, he retorted that he was able to take all the corners flat out because the Honda engine was under-powered by around 30bhp.
The Honda issue is and has been well documented, it is rightly taking a lot of the attention from the Formula 1 world. The issue is that it is such an easy story to write about that other stories seem to be getting missed. It’s like when a massive story about a footballer playing around hits the front pages and the government use the time to issue a press release about cutting the disability allowance. Major stories are getting missed.
Day 6 saw some interesting things in the background of the Honda saga. Kimi either lost the rear end in a corner or something in the rear end broke and left him helplessly drifting off the track and into the barriers. The way he got out of the car and just stared at the rear suspension gave us a clue, but we aren’t world authorities on F1 mechanics, so don’t really know.
Force India have stated today that they have loads of issues to fix before Australia. Yes that is exactly what testing is for. You are meant to find issues, but to find so many and still to have been having a great a testing as Force India seem to be doing, lets you know they could be having a great season.
Max Verstappen’s Red Bull stopped out on track dead. It has been running fairly well for most of the testing days and you wouldn’t expect a power unit to just stop on day six of testing. The column inches would be filled with this if it wasn’t for the Honda woes.
On the other side of the coin, Williams are having a great testing session. Fast times and hundreds of laps have been pretty normal for the team, even allowing for a few learning experiences from Lance Stroll. It’s got to the point where Massa has become confident enough to openly admit that he expects some podiums this year. There was no sign of that at pre-season testing last year for the Williams guys.
The best news for McLaren is that they have a great team, great drivers, a larger budget this year than last and an ardent army of loyal fans. Surely this is all they need to turn it around. The issue is that most of the problem appears to be with the Japanese partners and not on the McLaren end.
Tomorrow’s another day and we hope for more positive news to be coming back from Barcelona.