Honda suspects oil tank design is cause of trouble

Honda has said that the problems which cost it valuable track time early on in pre-season Formula 1 testing could be related to the design of its oil tank - as Stoffel Vandoorne hit fresh trouble on Tuesday morning.

Honda suspects oil tank design is cause of trouble
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32

The Belgian ground to a halt in his McLaren MCL32 at pitlane entry after his second installation lap in the very beginning of the second day of testing.

Vandoorne's teammate Fernando Alonso had been confined to the garage for much of Monday after an issue with the oil system was picked up following an installation lap.

The engine was removed from the car and will be taken back to Honda’s Sakura facility for an investigation, with a new unit fitted for the afternoon so Alonso could get some laps under his belt.

Although there is no confirmation about what the cause of the problem was, Honda’s F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa suspects that it may be an issue with the design of the oil tank.

“Based on initial investigations, we think the issue is related to the shape of the 2017 oil tank, but it requires further investigation before we can confirm this,” said Hasegawa.

Should the issue with the tank be confirmed, then a redesign could cause some headaches.

For any design changes could have implications to the packaging of the rest of the power unit and chassis installation, with space likely to be at a premium in this area of the car.

This is why it was going to take the team several hours to access this area of the car to find the initial cause of the problem on Monday.

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