Is this happening again? McLaren was also in trouble on the first day of the second week of Formula One winter test trips in Barcelona and completed the fewest laps of the day.
38 laps Stoffel Vandoorne created with his MCL33 just once and caused two test interruptions. His time of 1:21.946 minutes was also only enough for place twelve.
Last week the team was hit by some difficulties, but on Tuesday the problems started already. Even in the morning the Renault engine shut down with an electronic problem. Although the Belgian still managed to get it back to the box, but only shortly afterwards Vandoorne rolled out with the same problem again and took care of the first red flag of the day –the fault was the battery.
After long investigations and a change of battery McLaren was able to leave the garage again shortly before lunch break, But it was not enough for more than seven rounds in the morning. In the afternoon, a few more rounds came to Vandoorne’s account, but once again the session did not go smoothly: Shortly before 16am, McLaren again provided red, Because a hydraulic leak caused the MCL33 to stop in curve 3.
Vandoorne does not want to overestimate difficulties
The problematic sessions are very reminiscent of the previous years when you could hardly drive with the unreliable Honda engine. With the Renault drive in the rear, however, the Honda excuse is no longer available. There seems to be other problems in the team from Woking that make the test journeys difficult.
But Vandoorne does not want to overestimate the difficulties: The problems were not very serious, it only took a long time to solve them.”And also race leader Eric Boullier is”not particularly worried”about the problems, which appeared on Tuesday.” These are the little things we had hoped for even a little to prepare ourselves for the season,”said the Frenchman.
“We are here to test, and something like today happens when testing. This is not ideal, and we would have liked to have had more time on the track, but we are working on it and learning from it. We will return to the track with more information tomorrow,”he sees it positively.
Do McLaren have to upgrade to Melbourne again?
Another topic that was on the focus was the cooling. After the car overheated last week, McLaren showed up with a modified bodywork. Additional holes in the engine cover are supposed to provide cooling, but apparently that was not enough. McLaren may need to upgrade to Melbourne.
“McLaren will irritate the cooling limit. On the pictures you can see that they have built three more slots after having already had to make a slot in the cover the previous week,”said”Motorsport-Total.com”technical expert Gary Anderson. Two brownish markings can be seen on both sides of the bodywork, so something is very close to the cover of the engine on –perhaps the exhaust or turbo, which causes great concern.”
“The temperatures in the exhaust run at around 400 to 800 degrees Celsius and are packed in heat resistant insulation. If the temperatures are not brought under control soon, McLaren is very at risk,”says Jordan’s former chief of technology.”It’s not a good idea. To get to the finish line first, you have to finish the race, so these random reliability problems that McLaren dragged from the Honda era are of great urgency. Now they can only point the finger at themselves.”