The McLaren-Honda F1 team have faced quite a lot of hurdles during the first two races of the 2017 season. At the Bahrain Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso was forced to retire due to an unconfirmed problem while his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne was not able to start the race at all due to a failure in his car's power unit.
It would appear that McLaren and Honda engineers are still far from determining the actual problem with their cars. During the Bahrain test laps, Vandoorne was able to complete 81 laps. Considering the team's performance in Australia and China, this test lap is considered as a strange recovery that could propel them back to the grid. But such is not the case.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) April 15, 2017
Alonso retired on Lap 54. Vandoorne, who displayed excellent form during the test laps, did not start at all due to a power unit problem which up until now is not determined by the team.
In a statement acquired by ESPN, McLaren boss Eric Boullier said, "So I think it's going to be complicated for Honda to understand what's wrong, it could maybe be coming from some batch problems. I don't believe it is a car build problem but we can't find what's wrong."
McLaren fans have welcomed the team's decision to pull Alonso out of the grid and allow him to race in Indy 500. The decision to replace Alonso with seasoned driver Jenson Button was also received positively by both fans and the press.
Button will be starting for McLaren at the Monaco Grand Prix. The next leg of the 2017 Formula One season will be in Russia. The Russian Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on April 30.