McLaren to double up on engine changes at Spa to boost race pool
Posted By: Alex Kalinauckas  |  20 Aug 2015   |  1:47 pm GMT  |  98 comments

McLaren plan to do a double engine change in its two cars ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend, after it was hit with grid penalties for Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button for introducing a seventh engine for Spa, using three development tokens, this morning.

With its drivers set to start the race at Spa at the rear of the field anyway thanks to the first penalty, McLaren will trigger a second penalty by again changing engines after FP2. The second penalty will be redundant, but it is a clever plan to expand the pool of race engines it has available for the rest of the season.

The move comes after the clarification by the FIA last month over engine penalties and despite a rule change that allowed Honda to run a sixth “free” engine without penalty. the team received 50 places worth of grid demotions for running a fifth engine of the year at the Austrian Grand Prix. McLaren’s decision is completely legal in the regulations, but could be considered a slightly cynical ploy.

The Japanese company had spent some of its development tokens to modify the internal combustion engine element of its V6 turbo engine ahead of the race at Spa and hopes were high that McLaren could close the performance gap to the front-running teams.

But even before the engine changes and penalties were officially announced, the team’s racing director, Eric Boulllier, explained that the high speed nature of the Belgian track means that McLaren will have to wait until races like Singapore before it can hope to compete with teams currently further up the grid.

Eric Boullier

He said: “Spa is a truly spectacular circuit – arguably the best on the calendar for many – but, given the unique power and downforce package required, the track won’t play to our strengths.

“Therefore, of course, we must be measured in our optimism, and we will need to wait for Singapore and beyond before we can see the fruits of our labours reflected on track.”

But the high power nature of Spa, and the following race at Monza, will test the upgrades made to the engine and Honda’s motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai reckons they will be useful opportunities to gather meaningful data for further developments.

He said: “Honda has updated our combustion characteristics to further improve our power units for Spa and the second half of the season. This weekend’s free practices will be important to test the pairing of the power units to the cars.

“McLaren-Honda’s focus is to improve race by race. We know we can learn a lot from the circuit for immediate future, and hope that we can come out of the weekend with some positives.”

Yasuhisa Arai

McLaren scored its best result of the season last time out in Hungary with Fernando Alonso coming home fifth and Jenson Button ninth. That good result was rooted in the slow-speed, high-downforce characteristics of that track and Button also admitted that expectations need to remain grounded for improvements results at Spa.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to getting back into the car and seeing where we stand among our nearest competitors. We can’t pretend that we’re expecting a huge jump forward in performance – especially at this circuit, as it doesn’t suit our car’s characteristics – but, after the break, I’m feeling refreshed, positive, and ready to continue the solid progress we’ve made so far.”

Jenson Button

Honda has admitted that the Spa update will be the last big upgrade this season and McLaren will be hoping it has at least made a step in the right direction despite the move to downplay expectations and the discussion around its decision to give both Alonso and Button an eighth engine.

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hey guys,

the MP4-30 is not a bad car after all. The only problem is at the computer room. McLaren and Honda have got their programing mixed up because of different mapping methods. No wonder the electric motor unit is misbehaving. Wait until next season it will be a different scenario.


I read on Autosport that worh this enfine update, McLaren is targeting Ferrari and with the next upgrade they are tagering Mercedes.


That was not realistic. They are a long way from that. An odd thing to say


James, thank you for the discussion. I think there is a lack of understanding between McLaren and Honda, reminiscent of what we see between Red Bull and Renault. It is just McLaren and Honda put a brave face and try to move on, at least they are not washing their dirty clothes on public. There are several things that just do not tie up:

1. Honda is stating that they underestimated the complexity, but they will not approach engineers from other companies because of their internal culture

2. Days later Honda is saying that they will bring a new engine to Spa that will put them on par with Ferrari (assume 80-100 HP gain) and with another engine upgrade, they will be on par with Mercedes (assume another 40-60 HP gain). After FP1, they are 3 sec off Mercedes, pretty much the same story we have seen all season

3. Eric is saying that Honda is not in a rush to build a winning engine, they have a long term plan whereas McLaren wants to fight for the title now

4. Ron was saying that the commitment from Honda and their facilities, ideas, money is above everything he has seen so far in F1 –> I mean, the guy is super pragmatic, he must believe in what he is saying

5. Alonso decided to move to McLaren vs staying at Ferrari –> again, knowing that he is shockingly pragmatic he must have seen something that made him believe that he will succeed with McLaren Honda faster than with Ferrari

So what Ron and Alonso saw that made them believe in the project so much? They knew more or less where Mercedes is so I am assuming they needed to see that Honda can be on par. Where is the disconnect?


Hello, James. But why would they say this in public? It build certain expectations. If this is to calm down sponsors and fans, it is not very wise as the world will soon see that these are just words, a wishful thinking. I thought they know something and will be ready to bring 100 HP now to catch Ferrari and another 60 HP with their next upgrade to catch up Mercedes.


Very strange, why build expectations you cannot fulfil

It is a very depressing spectacle what is happening with Honda at the moment and a waste of 2 world champions on the grid who cannot contribute to the racing and the spectacle at the front of the field where the fans want to see them – shouldn’t happen really


If McLaren/Honda have made a 100 bhp gain they that will show even if the car isn’t quite right for the track as they will be further forward than they otherwise would be. Having increased power and torque is one thing, but delivering it in the right way is another, and perfecting the aero package is yet another, but I hope they are genuinely now moving in the right direction which will give the drivers some optimism.


Ron D should thank ol’ Charlie Whiting for the “clarification” of the Rules that made this possible!

Honestly, F1 is such a farce now!

Its not about racing anymore, its about high-speed rule-bending.


Of course there was no rule bending in the good old days…..


” 50 grid positions” ?? So are they going to start Tuesday then?

Racing Driver 1

Nice work McLaren. Rules are made to be interpreted and smart people are able to find loopholes. If your not happy with it, then go find your own loophole!


With my 25 years of avidly following and watching F1 I still dont understand all this penalty crap, MGUK, and what other components not.

And I dont care to understand these stupid detailed regulations.

It does all dampen my joy of watching one of my favourite teams in action.

come on: un-crap F1!!


I’d rather McHonda turn the engine up to the max and battle for a podium for half a dozen laps and go out with a bang than languish at the back of the field for a race distance…


Come on guys keep your shirt on you will find it the FIA will instruct the stewards to can it.

What’s surprising they leak out to every Tom, Dick and Harry what they intend to do , a very amateurish way from so called professional and well respected outfits with that sort of mentality they deserve to be at the bottom of the barrel which they currently occupy !



These rules are so rediculous!!

I understand why they have it but this is what happens when you let too much engineers run the show! They don’t see the big picture!!!

Why doesn’t Bernie do something anymore! Has he been too old?

How should the organizers sell tickets when you know that teams and drivers who try to improve are being punished for this?

It’s costing so much money for F1 to not look at the big picture. The teams getting harder to attract sponsors, the organizers getting harder to selling tickets, the networks getting harder to attract people watching the race on TV. And most of all the drivers are getting bored of F1 for having all these ridicoulous rules.

1. Let them try to improve the engines whenever they want!

2. Set a price for what the manufactures can bill the small teams for the engine (including everything that belongs to that).

Then there is a show again and people would be attracted again. I’m a hardcore-fan of F1 but I’ve never been more bored of F1 than I am today! I’m actually thinking of playing golf instead of watching the race… That thought has never occured to me before… Sigh

James, what do you think and what are the future plans?


Love the quote from Boullier about Spa being all about power and down force and it not playing to McClarens strength.

Can someone tell me what is their strength ?


Their floors are the cleanest of anyone’s down the pit lane.

Matthew Cheshire

Spending maximum money for minimum result?


Their strength is racing Marussia.


James, what did you make of Arai san interview saying that the engine is currently better than the Renault and that this evolution will bring them pretty much on par with Ferrari while at the same time saying that both power circuit (SPA & Monza) won’t suit the package ? Not quite sure what to make of those contradicting statements or is it the blame game already starting with Honda pointing to the chassis while McLaren is pointing to the PU.


Sad to say…. nothing of this matters.

They will be 3% or above in performance behind Mercedes.

Nowhere near winning a race, following Ron ultra-optimistic opinion.


“Spa is a power circuit………….”

In the dry! In the wet though – anyone who has a copy of F1 2014 or F1 2015 (Codemasters) knows driving with skinny wings around the Belgium track is akin to ice skating on oiled oak………and it’s not much grippier in the real world either (Hammy’s last lap on slicks at a wet greasy Spa in 2008 was over 30 Seconds a lap slower than a bone dry time!)

For the record, there have been rain affected races at Spa in 1985, 1989, 1992, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2008 and 2010 – more than any other European destination, so don’t count out a drop of the wet stuff.


The forecast shows possible thunderstorms for Sunday afternoon!


Excellent, proper F1tradition. Read the regulations very carefully then bend them almost to breaking point


Honestly, let Honda do what they want as long as they’re not consistently in the top 10. We need more people with a decent ability to win races.


I thought engine penalties were carried over to future races. i.e. if the car qualified near the back and was not able to take the full penalty at that race. Surely taking two engine penalties at the same race just means the rearward movement of grid positions would be “banked” for future races so not benefit


That was last year.

This year, the rules were changed so that “unspent” places converted into a time penalty/drive-through/Stop-Go (depending on number of excess places)… and the whinging was so loud from certain crybabies (not least of whom was McLaren!), they dropped it. Which led to this fiasco, including the rather unwise crowing from McLaren you see here.

At the very, VERY least, a second engine change in a weekend should lead to that penalty being carried forward…


That was last year.

This year, the rules were changed so that “unspent” places converted into a time penalty/drive-through/Stop-Go (depending on number of excess places)… and the whinging was so loud from certain crybabies (not least of whom was McLaren!), they dropped it. Which led to this fiasco, including crowing from McLaren.

At the very, VERY least, a second engine change in a weekend should lead to that penalty being carried forward…


Legal in the regulations for now, an unfair advantage for sure. Maybe the regulations should be changed again to stop this nonsense. Want to double up on engine penalties? Fine. You can start at the back of the field, and then pay a hefty fine to compensate for the grid penalty you can’t take. I’d start at 200,000 euros.


Thus locking in the Mercedes engine advantage forever. Perhaps you would like all teams to use the Mercedes or Ferrari engine because that it where we would end up if Renault and Honda leave F1 because they refuse to be handcuffed into mediocrity for the sake of cost restriction.

And before you say that Ferrari have made big strides, they only did so by breaking the rules on cost restriction to have the token system introduced, and allocated a sufficient amount of tokens to make the required improvement.


200k is pocket change for McLaren.


This act is the final nail in these PUs. Seriously.

The said they were doing it to be green – we know this is a lie.

The said they were doing it to be lower cost – we know this is a lie.

They said they would sound great – we know this is a lie.

They said they would reduce cost by reducing number of engines used – we know this is a lie.

What more do we need to see to realize this whole thing is a joke. Let’s go back to proper sounding V8s in F1, and let’s stop this silliness of limited engines. Clearly no one cares, and rich manufacturers can afford to do as they please. And if we’ve learned anything from these PUs is that a brand new V8 for every weekend will still cost less and be just as green.

Carbon offset: each track plants 2000 trees somewhere either on the grounds of the race track or elsewhere.

We can get back to normal, because these PUs are anything but normal. They are the blackberry of smart phones.


+1 sebee however I am still not convinced on the electric front as a solution to our racing. To make a point I need to explain that I am partly deaf and as such I miss the shear volume of our old motors and it does have a bearing on the shear enjoyment of a race. Without the roar of the cars I find the experience some what lacking. I do feel that we still need an internal combustion engine in F1,its part of the DNA and its sound really stirs the emotional nerve. If we need green then lets burn hydrogen or even alcohol,its a simple technology that is still developing and is relevant to our road cars…and I am sure it would be so much cheaper than this hybrid stopgap nonsense.


Nobody would ever guess you were American!

David Selway-Hoskins

Go Sebee – the ‘cost saving’ from limiting the engines used clearly has no financial impact on Honda and Renault who will continue to build engines and take penalties if they want to go racing.

The only impact these absurd rules has had is to ruin our (remember us, the spectators) season’s racing when F1 is already in a tv viewer crisis.

Given a free hand, Honda and Renault would have been much closer to Mercedes than now.

I fail to understand ………but then I fail to understand a lot of what is mandated by those in ‘authority’ in all aspects of life these days.


They are the George W Bushes of presidents.


The are the wallmart of shopping centres.


They are the Casio of watches


Who is “they” and when did they say it was to be green?

EFFICIENCY is not the same thing as green.

Efficiency is something all industrious corporations look to, it is one of the holy grail a of engineering and cleaver thinking.

Why can’t you see that f1 can be the leader in efficient performance? Get over green, it’s your fault for using the word, not f1’s.


Yes Layercake, it can. You must see that the natural progression of your view is an electric formula. This, in my opinion, will kill F1.


Well said. I like the new PU/engine concept– would like to see it unleashed somewhat but I have no illusion that this is green. Much the same as I have no illusion that electric cars in general are green– ask the Bolivian people as their country is being strip mined flat for lithium to make batteries.


I rather like the new tech in the PUs. V8s are boring.


New tech? You mean this off the shelf tech they slapped together?

I know I’m repeating myself, but go see what a P85D Tesla did to a twice tbe price F12. Go see P85D deliver 860 lbs of instant torque that ripped apart belts on dynos. And all for 120k USD and seats 4. Any application of this PU in road cars is unnecessary, expensive and I bet you has a huge cost of ownership and short life cycle.


You’re missing what I think was the main reason, which was that the hybrid tech is directly relevant to the engine manufacturers development for the future. Those “proper sounding V8s” are old tech.


Got to agree with Sebee on this one. Manufacturer’s future drivetrain is electric, not hybrid. If F1 wants to go green then it needs to go electric. However, a decision to do that will kill F1. A corporate F1 has found itself in no mans land by trying to tick too many boxes, most of which fall well outside of its core purpose. Surely it is clear to everyone that F1 needs to be entertainingly loud and fast. Ironically, the major manufacturers have also failed to develop their all-electric product plans quickly enough. Interlopers like Tesla are eating their lunch. F1 is not green. Trying to give it some sort of green veneer is plain stupid. If we want road relevant racing with the potential to develop future mainstream PV technologies then we have Formula E. If green credentials are necessary for F1 to survive then F1 is dead. Green is not its purpose and it is incapable of delivering it. Maybe the more it stands apart from the mainstream shift to electric the more interesting it will become.


newton, buddy, seriously…so some searching.

1. Economic cars petrol only are not only cheaper over life of ownership, but are not as CO2 front loaded with all types of crap.

2. Look around, go do some industry research. Hybrid car sales are dropping. People have not been convinced by higher costs and minimal CO2 savings and fuel economy benefits.

The gig is up. Consumer has concluded Hybrid cars are a smoke show and really are designed to raise the average unit cost. That’s why Toyota is selling the Prius, and then pumping out V8s on the back end.

Here…read about Hybrid sales. This is what F1 is investing into? This is the future?

I’m quite certain now that electric is the future.


So McLaren are going to use engine no. 7 and 8 this weekend. I really don’t understand that because:

a. Didn’t they just change to their free engine in Hungary? Surely that thing will still have miles on it.

b. By already introducing engine no. 8 they won’t be able to use their four remaining tokens during this season, unles they expect to use a ninth engine?


By introducing a second Engine for each driver, they have a backup in the event of one of them failing.


Glad Mclaren are turning the dials up on their “New” updated engine.

But they are still, prior to any race weekend posting their excuses about “why they’ll be expecing

a Hit & Miss weekend because its a new engine & that it may fall apart at any minute of the race weekend”.

Not a positive way to start the second half of a season .

I do hope they get there act together quickly or it’ll be another Whizz Bang Splutter Fizzle & Fade Away year.

Come on Mclaren get your acr together time Ron Dennis grabs the nads of the company & squeezes some performance out of ot ! As for Honda no more excuses its IndyCar or F1 time to choose 🙂


@ pkara…definitely not ‘indy time’ for honda. two honda engined cars in the top ten!!!!!


A little perspective please.

With the regulations and development limitations, there’s only so much they can do about it. They’re not going to make any huge leaps in the middle of the season; it just isn’t feasible. They have been making incremental progress and that’s about as much as they can hope for.

As for “excuses”, would you rather they put lipstick on a pig? It is what it is. I’d rather hear them talk realistically about the situation than hype expectations that are unrealistic and unobtainable.


That’s a very good point about the Japanese not putting all their eggs in the grand prix engineering development basket. Perhaps running two separate costly and demanding motor sport programmes concurrently is denuding their development ability on the Formula 1 stage?

As a rhetorical question, the answer seems to be, yes………


Boullier’s comments sounded less like excuses and more like managing expectations. With both cars finishing in the points last time due to the circuit and attrition, the team doesn’t want people to expect the same results this time around. By downplaying their chances, he is setting up either for a typical weekend or to exceed them if they do well again.


McLaren’s decision is completely legal in the regulations, but could be considered a slightly cynical ploy……

Good on them I say – one mans slightly cynical ploy is another’s stroke of genius 🙂


Totally agree. The ridiculous limit on testing leaves teams with no choice but to have to do this and consider whole championship seasons as ‘test seasons’. It’s a total joke the way the FIA has managed testing.

H.Guderian (ALO Fan)

Well said.


@ C63…why the hell not? i certainly agree with what they are doing.


As you would! You might surprise me one day Kenneth 🙂


this is EXACTLY why these multiple penalties were supposed to stack up to drive thrus, stop gos etc. and then in the very FIRST race after the rules are taken away one of the teams exploits it.

so bloody typical.



The reasoning they stuffed these down out throats is to save, reduce, be efficient…..

You appear to be mixing up/confusing the number of PU’s a team is permitted to use over the course of a season with the reason why the manufacturers wanted to introduce the new PU’s (and ditch the V8’s). They are two completely separate things.

Limiting the number of PU’s allowed is an attempt to reduce the cost of competing – attempts to reduce the cost of competing are generally destined to fail as the rich/powerful teams don’t want to cut costs as this equates to cutting their advantage – this has been no different.

The reason why the manufacturers wanted to introduce the new PU’s, as you well know, was a desire to use F1as a showcase for their technological expertise and to promote hybrid power. Again, as you know, the manufacturers appear to believe that hybrid is the way to go – this is despite you constantly telling them that fully electric is the future. it’s extraordinary, I know – they don’t listen to you – but that’s just the way it is.


No way C63. Nothing to do with Alonso.

Don’t think I don’t get it. Simply these PUs are at the centre of the rules. They are what makes F1 possible. The reasoning they stuffed these down out throats is to save, reduce, be efficient. To see this happen makes mockery of these PUs and of these rules at a whole new level. You point out RBR and Renault elsewhere, I flip it around for you. This move is so against the spirit of the rules that even RBR didn’t make this play.

Everyone has a line, this one is it for me. You want a new PU, take the hit every time. 2 for 1 cheat is pathetic. Guess they think we’ll forget about it like some fools when/if they get a result.



this is EXACTLY why ….

I completely agree (I made the same point earlier in the thread), but cast your mind back just a few races ago when McHonda received those multiple penalties – how much whinging did we get from multiple posters about it?

As for it being typical of F1 – again you are right. Sebee normally defends such rule bending when it’s a team or driver whom he favours – he says it’s part of the fabric or DNA of F1 – but this time it involved Alonso. You can’t even say Alonso within his earshot for fear that he will go off on a rant !


>> but could be considered a slightly cynical ploy. << Nah truly cynical is if they managed to do it three times in the weekend..

For those below saying it is the end of the engine rules and the rules need to be changed… how?how exactly can you stop this? You get the allocated number and if they all break you sit out the rest of the season? NEVER going to happen. Bernie needs full fields for races. Remember Indy, just how popular that race was with 6 cars…. I am sure Bernie does so forget a clamp down.

Frankly if I was Honda I would run a new engine for every session at every race and get as many miles on test items as possible for the rest of the season. That is how you develop, that is how you learn. Push them as hard as you can without blowing them up. Tell Alonso and Button you will start at the back and your job is to get to in the points for the rest of the year. Better chance of points than nursing a worn engine around. The only people who will be truly pissed about this is Horner and RBR for not doing this before. Today the brain trust at McLaren\Honda earn't the pay check! Well done all. RBR and Horner should get on and do the same thing and quit crying about Renault.


truly p**ed about this is Horner and RBR for not doing this before…

I had exactly the same thought. Horner and Marco must be kicking each other because the didn’t think of it. What a wizard weeze McHonda managed to pull on the rest of the grid.


Hear hear! Good for McLaren, ‘sticking it to the man’. Especially considering ‘the man’ came up with such… (engage Jeremy Clarkson voice)… ssstuuupid rules in the first place.

Got to love Boullier’s spin…

“given the unique power and downforce package required, the track won’t play to our strengths”

…so just what are the car’s strengths if you don’t have power and don’t have downforce?

It’s stopping distance is shorter because it can’t go as fast as others?

Jeepers, he basically just said…given the car is no good on the straights and no good in the corners Spa will be a nightmare.

Hope it’s all lowering expectations though, as I’d love to see Alonso racing Lewis, well ok then, racing Seb.


…and if downforce squares with speed then the McLaren must have world beating downforce once they get the Honda to speed up a little bit.

…and their reliability will improve with speed as they will have a faster top speed so will spend less time at full throttle on the straights…

(I’ll wait till I see it before I believe it)


The McHonda seems to have lots of downforce (see Monaco/Hungary performances) but not enough power. Since Spa is a low downforce high speed track it’s exactly the opposite of what suits the car. A good place to experiment with the engine.


Speaking of which, McHonda are finally doing what they should have done from the start and making a mockery of the engine limits and penalty systems.


…you know what C63, this is not only a spit in the face of rules, it is a spit in the face of green, in the face of cost savings, in the face of the formula. It is a spit in the face of every reason why these PUs were agreed upon and forced upon the sport.

I guess in the end I should say thank you to Honda perhaps – but only if this becomes the catalyst for change to the PUs and to the logic that governs this “sport”.


Honestly Sebee – I really don’t see how you reach your conclusions. Yes McHonda are spitting in the face of the number of PU’s allowed and, IMO, have found a clever way to circumnavigate that particular regulation. But the rest of your rant makes no sense to me at all and as far as I can see has nothing to do with what McHonda have done. If you could just turn your volume down a couple of notches and explain more clearly what your point is it would be appreciated. Thank you


Ok Sebee, seeing as you asked.

1, they are green because they use less fuel than the old units, and indeed any engine with similar power and weight. I know you think they are front loaded with C02, but the old engines had batteries too.

2, they save money by having longevity on their side. The whole idea of the change was to provide a power source that could keep F1 going for a decade, and after some initial development be frozen. The design costs were expected to be large, but once they have been recouped the cost will drop. Besides, this is F1, what’s saving money got to do with it?!

3, engine number restrictions have always been easily broken, you take a new engine and get a penalty, so what? The McLarens are starting at the back anyway, let them get on with it. As for rich teams doing things the small teams can’t, give me a season of F1 when that didn’t happen!



When a law is flawed, people protest and conduct acts of civil disobedience.

I equate this act of Honda to an act of civil disobedience in exposing this rediculous PU, rules, pseudo cost saving efforts. In that respect, yes, I applaud their act.

The logic on this PU and reducing development and numbers of engines to reduce costs is akin to buying an FXX and come time to get new rubber, going with Chinse Pegasus tires…no, not the actual Pegasus, counterfit Pegasus tires. Yes. They exist.


@Seebee, yeah but what do you really think ?

Stop fence stting 😉


Really Tim W?

Go ahead, you go and tell us how:

1. These PUs are green.

2. How they save money.

3. How they helped Formula 1 become a better show.

4. How Honda didn’t just show us that engine number restrictions can easily be broken in one weekend to give a rich team that can afford it a free PU for the season. 2 PUs for 1 penalty deal.

I await your answers. Don’t give me some general BS. Come with facts. Yeah, that’s what I thought Tim W. Crickets from you….


Can you provide any documentation from the FIA that these new regulations were adopted for green measure?

I always thought it was the efficiency bullet point that the engine manufactures were interested in. Efficiency and green are not the same thing and you look a bit of a fool using the word green and then arguing against it.

If you use the correct word, efficiency, your arguments are pretty much dead. Efficient f1 engines have no impact for instance on the weight of shipments f1 teams fly around the world.

Using the airliner argument, using green, and then complaining about it, makes you look a bit out of touch.



I take your point about spitting in the face of the rules, but I would be a liar if I didn’t admit I had more than a sneaking admiration for their chutzpah.

It’s because they stopped the penalties from being cumulative, after McLaren got demoted about 50 places at Austria (?), I think.

I suspect this loophole will be closed fairly quickly by a technical directive clarifying what is acceptable. But in the meantime you’ve got to stand up and applaud 🙂


Sebee, your pills!!


As I have understood, ferrari have done just the same kind of thing sebee, they have found a loophole to supply haas with engines, for which haas has unlimited testing as it’s not yet a competing team, and ferrari has full access to the data


All a bit OTT, I think. Green,you say? What about all those huge airplanes flying these super green F1 cars all over the world? Best if the cars use a little less fuel, though – that’ll fix it.


The concept of cost savings was a dead duck the sport introduced hybrid engines. Honda is not guilty of over spend. They only entered F1 this season, probably one season too early but their total costs on hybrid engines is probably thus far well below what Mercedes and Ferrari have invested in hybrid engines.



What this has done is spit in the face of the whole reason for engine penalties.

I mean, what does this incident illustrate but the following:

1. We’re going to push through engine rules that will nearly quadruple cost of engines vs. V8.

2. We’re going to do it under a guise of “green” while really we’re just going to carbon front load these PUS.

3. We’re going to take the high road of not only “green” but we’re also going to take the high road of reliability through restricted number of engines so that all team can reduce their costs

Oh, we’re going to ad nauseam talk about cost savings as we stuff these 1B PUs down peoples throats, and we’re going to say they are “green”.

And then, for those of us who have the resources, we’re going to spit at the rules and use as many engines as we can by simply taking a whole whack of grid penalties and add cost – because we don’t care. All of a sudden all teams that follow the 4 engine per season rule will have to incur a bill twice the size just to come even with us rich teams as we use 7 or 8 engines – because we can afford it.

Yeah, cynical C63, I have another word for it – disgusting. I don’t care what the justification is for this from McLaren’s view point or Honda’s. I simply don’t care.

Does a team at the bottom of a football rank get to use 2 or 3 more players in a game? How is this different.

H.Guderian (ALO Fan)



Thanks!!! You spare me the trouble.


I agree with a lot of things said on this thread and it is an interesting discussion but can people stop pretending F1 was supposed to actually become green and understand the ‘green’ engines are not meant to make the sport environmentally friendly but be a test bed for the engine manufacturers to innovate their own engine efficiency which would eventually translate into greener engines on the road. F1 has always been an excellent R&D department for manufacturers in many ways its just the high reving v8 rules were becoming less and less relevant to the R&D of the engine companys. YOu may not like the engines, you may thing they are ruining the sport but F1 has to remain relevant R&D for the big technology investors otherwise they wont invest anymore.


@ Sebee – Arent you Schumachers greatest fan? haven’t you always delighted at what you call his “ruthless” streak? When all others call it cheating and “SPITTING IN THE FACE OF THE RULES”! Hell… you even delighted at Rosberg taking LH out last season by saying he had shown a “ruthless” streak… Make up your mind! You cant have it one way but not the other. Maclaren have at least complied with the letter of the law.


Sebee, You forget that the Honda has broken down no nearly every race

and by following your standards that every 2nd race restart they start at the back,

the rule was brought in to stop the big manufactures using a new engine every race as the customer race teams could not afford to do the same hence the reduction in quantities,

it was nothing to do with being green but a leveling action

imagine Mercedes using a new engine every race with Ferrari,

it would be 1234 taken up by them with merc on the 2 top steps

not as we have now with Hamilton turning down his engine to help it last,

Honda though engine short on power and reliability too

i thought you followed F1 for many years and not since 2007

oh take a chill pill you seem stressed


Dammit, that’s supposed to be not – not! – actually breaking the rules…


Lol KRB.

You might not like it Sebee, but if you were in McLaren’s shoes what would you do?

Their goal is to get back to the front of the grid and anything that can help them do that will be done. Yes they’re being cheeky, but since they’re actually breaking the rules what’s the problem?

Out of all the people who visit this site on a regular basis I thought you’d be the one who would be guaranteed to cheer at any team for spitting on the PU regulations.

Makes me wonder what you’d say if they rolled up to Monza with a couple of grunty V8s in the back 🙂


Absolutely agree.


Hmm seems like you only favour a team spitting in the face of rules if it benefits your hero.

If others do it, it’s disgusting. Ok then…


Ron W,

If these are prototypes, then don’t hamstring the darn development like they tend to do.

If the rules are so complicated, simplify them – it’s what we keep yammering on about too, right?

If cost are really an issue, don’t force manufacturers to develop some hodgepodge of appendages and call it a PU. Then don’t start introducing cost controls parameters of development and engine quantities, which not only are fake when the PU collectively cost 1B to develop, but which can also be peed upon at will by wealthiest of manufacturers.

It’s all a joke. And Honda just showed us what a joke it is. At least I appreciate them exposing the whole thing for what it is.


Eating deep fried butter in a stick is disgusting…this? No.


that’s possibly the biggest overreaction I’ve ever read, chill sebee.

just remember using the word ‘green’ when talking about f1 is a joke and the most disgusting thing about costs is giving most of the prize money to the already rich teams at the top


So I’ll mark you down as “undecided” about these PU’s? 😉


I pretty much agree with you, Sebee. I think it’s clear the “penalties” are not stiff enough.

Make the teams pay fines or deduct championship points that could impact their share of the revenues. That might make teams think twice about blatantly disregarding the spirit of the rules.


It was OK for Ferrari to spit in the face by finding a loophole. Why is McLaren Honda’s ingenuity less acceptable?


Ultimately Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari pushed these engine regs through. The whole green/cost saving dialogue was a sham to begin with anyway, McHonda are simply doing what is necessary and illustrating how disingenuous cost saving measures in F1 always are.


F1 has always been about who can push, bend and break the regulations best (and get away with it), so calling out McHonda for the badly written rules seems like missing the point to me.


I sometimes wonder whether people forget that these cars are prototypes. Look at any other engineering project and they all have masses of testing and long development times. F1 has neither of these. As for your poor football analogy, the rules in football have been the same for decades barring the odd Goalkeeper rule. If one day they came up and said ‘right, you’re only allowed five training sessions per year and you now have to play with a square ball. Everyone has to wear the same boots and your squad can only be 15 players for the entire season. And those 15 players must have a combined weight limit of less than 1100kg. Half way through the season there is a ban on using the left foot.

Only then could we start to compare.

As it is Honda are doing the best within the rules. Nothing stopping anyone else.


Ferrari managed to “break” the rules by finding a loophole. The same applies here. Well done McLaren Honda. Go for it!


Why stop at 2? Could they use a 3rd engine for the race?

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