Let me begin by saying that I adore Honda and that I deeply appreciate their participation in Formula 1, particularly with McLaren. With that out of the way, man, McLaren-Honda has shit the bed.
There’s a lot that we can’t infer from pre-season testing going on at the moment, but a few things are already clear: Mercedes is already leading things in terms of weird aero solutions, Ferrari isn’t far behind, and McLaren-Honda is a dry cafeteria burger with a slice of yellow cheese half-melted on top.
Professional sadness man and McLaren driver Fernando Alonso gave these statements to the press yesterday describing in no uncertain terms that his Honda engine is bad. It’s slow. It’s failure-prone. It’s the opposite of good, as Motorsport quotes from the Spaniard:
“There is no reliability and there is no power. We are 30km/h down on the straight, every straight.
“So when you are 30km/h down on every straight it is difficult to have a feeling on the car. Everything feels good, but when you arrive to normal speed you don’t know what is going to happen.”
Alonso elaborated that the team had some real amateur-hour problems with unsecured bodywork and a busted oil pan, putting the team behind the rest of the field. That’s not great, and Motorsport quoted further:
When asked whether he was able to take Barcelona’s Turn 3 flat out, Alonso also made a joke about the lack of performance.
“Oh yeah, for us, not only Turn 3,” he smiled. “For us nearly all the corners are flat.”
Alonso, probably after seeing how his words looked in print, later said that he was only being contrarian, as Motorsport reports. “When people go pessimistic, I go optimistic. When people are overexcited, I get worried.” He went on to say that he still thinks he’s a good driver and won’t quit.
In the midst of writing this article, Also, it appears that Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren broke down on track while I was in the process of writing this article.
If you need me, I’ll be rooting for Honda at the back of the pack for the rest of the year. At least the new McLaren road cars look cool.