Pre-season was nothing short of disastrous for McLaren-Honda. All within the alliance went to Barcelona with genuine expectations of a leap forward, that testing would indicate the car is good enough, and the engine powerful enough, to vault it out of Formula 1's midfield. Probably not yet on par with any of the big three F1 teams, but certainly in a position right behind them, with scope to challenge properly in the very near future.
Instead, McLaren returned from Spain demoralised, nursing broken promises, broken engines and broken spirits. Potentially, broken dreams as well. The team's awning was a study in frustration and disappointment.
Reliability was so bad that the MCL32 failed during its pre-test filming day, and completed not much more than a third of the laps Mercedes managed across eight days of testing - on the engine side, Honda's deficit to Mercedes (supplying three teams) is equivalent to more than 10,000km. Fernando Alonso completed fewer laps in total than Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein, who missed the first test through injury.