After losing yet another Honda power unit in testing at the Barcelona Circuit in Spain on Tuesday, McLaren team boss Eric Boullier continues to believe that the Japanese engine giant will eventually come good, however he did admit that the continuing reliability issues are taking their toll.
"“While losing out on track time definitely makes things challenging, I’m not too concerned yet. The aim for us is to generate as much data as we can,” he said. “Of course, less mileage means less time to understand and develop the car and validate parts, but since everything in this current era of Formula 1 is based on simulation, the most important thing for us is to correlate the data with the simulation numbers back at the factory. We would always like to do more, but from what we’ve seen so far, we’re pleased that we generally have positive correlation in line with our predictions.”
“Reliability is key to allowing us to develop further and get closer to the limit, and we’re working closely with Honda who are investigating the power unit issues and working hard to progress through them in order to improve our reliability. They are our partners, we support them and we have to trust that they can address these issues in time for Australia.
Tuesday was only the fifth day of testing and already the team has gone through three engine changes, however Boullier was quick to point out that it was the same spec engine and is hoping the second generation unit will prove to be more reliable.
"Overall, while on the face of things, another reliability issue is naturally frustrating, we still managed to get a lot of laps on the board. I salute our guys in the garage who managed to conduct a complete PU change in under four hours, which is highly commendable, and it meant we were able to complete some useful areas of our test programme. We’re hopeful that some of the power unit issues we’ve faced will be addressed in the second specification of engine that we plan to run later this week, so there’s definitely more to come from us and we’ll keep going.”