Schadenfreude is great fun if you aren't at the centre of it. After three years of McLaren blaming Honda for all its ills many revelled in the once-great team's testing troubles. From the moment the wheels started to come off its pre-season, quite literally in the case of Fernando Alonso's incident on day one of running, the narrative turned. Suddenly it was McLaren being found out as the cause of all the Honda-era ills, as while in the back of a Toro Rosso, its old engine was suddenly magically reliable.
This was always a nonsense. It was clear the McLaren was at least brisk enough to be in or around the front of the midfield battle, even though Toro Rosso's mileage seemed a miracle of such magnitude that it suggested McLaren had played a big part in the Honda reliability woes. The Australian Grand Prix disabused those notions, but McLaren has been found out in a very different way.
During the great car, duff engine years, the contention was that the McLaren chassis was a very good, or sometimes even great, one. At times this drifted into suggestions it would be as strong as Red Bull with Renault propulsion. When the Renault deal was announced, McLaren executive director Zak Brown held up Red Bull as its yardstick, and on the evidence of Australia it doesn't measure up.