BARCELONA, Spain -- McLaren's problematic start to the 2017 season continued on Tuesday as the team was forced into an engine change after another Honda-related issue.
An oil system problem severely restricted Fernando Alonso's running on Monday's opening day, making it imperative Stoffel Vandoorne made up for lost time. The Belgian completed 29 laps intermittently through the morning before an update half an hour before lunch -- more problems.
The team confirmed it had lost power to the engine, forcing a second power unit change in two days and an investigation into what caused the issue. It is currently unclear whether the issue will have a bigger impact on McLaren's run plans for the afternoon but represents another big setback in its preparations for the 2017 season.
McLaren and Honda's partnership has been underwhelming since reforming its iconic team in 2015, with two seasons dramatically off the pace of the class-leading Mercedes. McLaren hoped this year's sweeping regulation changes would help it move back towards the front, with greater emphasis placed on aerodynamics and its MCL32. However, the new car has not had the chance to be put through its paces properly so far in Barcelona.