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McLaren Racing Open to Returning to Honda in the Future

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McLaren executive director Zak Brown says the Formula One team would be open to working with Honda again in the future should the opportunity arise, despite the poor results they had together throughout the last three years.

Honda made a long-awaited return to the sport in 2015 but for various reasons had a lot of catching up to do—possibly too much to have expected anything exceptional. After a difficult 2017, McLaren elected to end its relationship with Honda much earlier than it had originally planned, but Brown says this hasn’t ruined his confidence in the Japanese manufacturer.

“Three years is a long time in Formula 1 so we needed to change directions to get our team back on top. The decision we made is one we believe is the right one for McLaren,” Brown told Britain’s Sky Sports. “We are grateful to Honda. They’re a great company, with great people, and the relationship was always strong. The relationship still is strong. Wouldn’t rule out racing with them again, wish them the best but we needed to make some tough decisions to do what’s in our best interest.”

When asked to clarify whether Brown would be open to working with Honda once more in the future, he did not shy away from the question. “Oh of course, absolutely. They’re a great company, we’ve won a few world championships with them, they know what they’re doing. For a variety of reasons, kind of didn’t get it right this time. But we’ve maintained a good relationship, so definitely never say never in this sport.”

Brown has already stated that its break with Honda would look “silly” should the latter be successful with Toro Rosso, the team it will supply with engines in 2018. Given Honda’s continued investment in Formula One, it seems likely this will be the case sooner or later.