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‘No Regrets’ Over Honda Partnership, Says McLaren

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McLaren Honda in the gravel

The 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marked the last race McLaren and Honda would complete together after a difficult three-year partnership.

Because of the unstoppable force that McLaren Honda had been in the 80s and 90s, the announcement that they would be reunited starting in 2015 had been met with excitement and high expectations.

But throughout the last three seasons, the team finished in the top 10 only 31 times out of 60 races, with fifth place its highest finishing position on three occasions. In the same time, it also racked up a whopping 845 engine-related grid penalties.

The high expectations were unrealistic. The reality is that trying to build one of the world’s most technically advanced engines in so short a time, when competitors like Mercedes had begun their concept as early as 2007, was a project doomed to fail. It bears pointing out that the other engine constructors, Ferrari and Renault, have also failed to match Mercedes’ performance and reliability even having had more time and experience than Honda.

Honda, however, has made it clear it is committed to Formula One and will not give up. Next year it will supply Toro Rosso with engines and McLaren, which will be powered by Renault, looked back at its relationship with Honda with positivity.

“On behalf of everyone at McLaren, I’d like to offer sincere thanks to Honda for working so hard alongside us to constantly strive to learn, develop and improve,” said Eric Bouiller, McLaren’s racing director. “While nobody can deny it’s been an incredibly challenging season, we end our partnership in Abu Dhabi with a stronger relationship than ever and plenty of healthy respect.”

Zak Brown, McLaren’s executive director, even suggested the two companies could partner again in the future. “Honda have been great partners. They are great people, we get on really well. It’s been an incredibly difficult situation but they remain our great friends. We will miss them. Never say never, we could be back again together in the future.”

News Source: Sky Sports