Thursday, March 9, 2017

Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark

Alonso: Honda has no power and no reliability
All Hamlet references aside, something is definitely rotten in Honda's 2017 power unit.

McLaren driver Fernando Alonso insists that McLaren's preseason testing struggles can be deduced solely from the team's Honda engines, which have struggled to keep pace with those of Mercedes, Ferrari, and Renault. When asked about McLaren's current situation, Alonso replied, "I don't think we are too far back in terms of chassis side. We have only one problem: that is the power unit. There is no reliability and there is no power. We are 30 km/h down on the straight, every straight."

Since their power unit switch from Mercedes to Honda in 2015, McLaren have struggled mightily and have yet to record a single podium with their new engine partner. While the team's performance has improved somewhat since the change, McLaren still are not the team that they once were.

One has to wonder if Alonso's patience is wearing thin. The double World Champion will be 36 this summer and is in the final year of his current contract with McLaren. While a bad year may not force him out of Formula One, it may force him into joining a new team if he wants a chance to win a third World Championship.

UPDATE: Well, here's further proof the situation is rotten: McLaren's troubles have left Honda 10,500 km behind Mercedes in terms of distance logged this preseason. Of course, Mercedes supplies engines for three constructors (Mercedes, Williams, Force India) while Honda only supplies for McLaren, but it's still a staggering number that represents just how much trouble Honda has endured so far.

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