McLaren fire up Renault engine

McLaren have got their new engine working a week before the launch of the 2018 car

Spa Francorchamps, Belgium. Sunday 27 August 2017. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, on the grid. Photo: Steven Tee/McLaren ref: Digital Image _R3I1331

McLaren have stepped up their preparations for the 2018 Formula 1 season by firing up the Renault engine for the first time.

The team shared a video of the MCL33 fire up from their factory in Woking today ahead of next week’s car launch.

Things seem to go smoothly in the video, which is in contrast to last year when the Honda engine failed to fire up at the first time of asking. Footage of the team struggling to fit the engine before having to start it manually featured in the recently-released Grand Prix Driver series on Netflix.

The video comes just a couple of days after Toro Rosso confirmed the Honda engine started at the first time of asking when it recently fired the engine up for the first time. The team followed video of the car being prepared for the fire up with a tongue-in-cheek FAQ list, insisting the engine didn’t take “like 6” attempts to fire up, started as planned and didn’t set the team’s factory on fire.

Since it was announced the two teams would be swapping engine suppliers for 2018, both have seemingly been on the PR offensive on behalf of their new power unit manufacturers, insisting the new partnerships are working well and that they’ve both been pleased with the work done by Honda and Renault for this season respectively.

The two teams seem to be embracing the changes after both had difficult 2017 campaigns. McLaren continued to struggle for reliability with the Honda engine, while Renault’s struggles let Toro Rosso down towards the end of the season, leaving Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley often stuck near the back of the grid with a series of penalties.

McLaren will launch its car one week today, while Toro Rosso won’t be taking the covers off their 2018 car until next Monday, just ahead of the start of pre-season testing.

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