McLaren – Honda relationship in danger

The marriage between McLaren and Honda has been under particular strain since pre-season testing began, with tensions between the two slowly increasing as testing went on.

Drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne entered the testing full of hope that McLaren could finally produce a competitive car this season, however during the testing period it seems as if this hope is futile.

The Woking-based team was burdened with engine changes, and more breakdowns than any other team during testing, which translated into a much lower number of completed laps than the other teams.

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McLaren have been troubled with reliability, as well as pace with their new car.

McLaren only completed 425 laps over the testing period, a large step down from the 710 they completed in 2016, and less than half what Mercedes completed (1096 laps).

However, the new engine is also lacking in power, much like Sauber, who are running a 2016 engine.

I don’t think we are too far back with the chassis, we have only one problem which is the power unit,” Alonso spoke.

There is no reliability and there is no power. We are 30kph down on the straight.

McLaren do have a contract with Honda until 2024, but there are reportedly break clauses on both McLaren and Honda’s side of the deal, meaning that either could break away if desired.

The problem, according to Sky Sports, derives from “unexpected vibrations” from the engine, which in turn cause the power unit to “effectively shake itself into braking down“.

The first race of the new season begins on 26 March in Melbourne, Australia, where hopefully McLaren will have some sort of solution to their woes.

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