F1 Winter Break
Boullier brands Honda’s latest F1 failure at the Canadian GP ‘absolutely not good enough’
Posted By: Editor   |  12 Jun 2017   |  3:15 pm GMT  |  184 comments

McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier spoke scathingly about Honda’s latest engine failure at the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix as Fernando Alonso was denied his first point of the season on Sunday.

Having returned from the Indianapolis 500, the two-time champion was in 10th place with three laps remaining when his engine failed and he was forced to retire. Alonso climbed into the grandstands to join the fans as his MCL32 was rolled away by the marshals.

“We dared to hope,” said Boullier.

“For the first time this season [we were] running in 10th place within spitting distance of the flag.”

“OK, what we were daring to hope for were hardly rich pickings: a solitary world championship point for Fernando, who had driven superbly all afternoon, as he’s driven superbly every race-day afternoon for the past two-and-a-half years.

“But, after so much toil and heartache, even that single point would have felt like a victory. And then came yet another gut-wrenching failure.

“It’s difficult to find the right words to express our disappointment, our frustration and, yes, our sadness.

“So I’ll say only this: it’s simply, and absolutely, not good enough.”

Head of F1 at Honda, Yusuke Hasegawa, said, “Unfortunately, with just a couple of laps remaining, Fernando’s [power unit] lost oil pressure due to a mechanical issue.

“We won’t know the exact cause until we get the power unit back to Sakura for a full investigation.

“There is still a gap between us and our competitors, and we must continue to improve our reliability. We cannot stay in our current position and we will maintain our tireless development in order to close the gap.”

McLaren remains last in the contructors’ championship without a point with Alonso requiring a third engine change before the race in Azerbaijan on June 25.

“I am frustrated, of course, but it’s not only about losing a point today, of course,” said the Spaniard.

“As a driver, we try to come here and drive as fast as we can, so missing on that point is disappointing especially for the guys, who have been working so much day and night, preparing the car, preparing the strategy and taking care of every single detail.”

“Our chassis feels quite strong in the corners, but we are being overtaken by everyone in the middle on the straights. It’s tough times.

“The support we have from the fans in Canada is great, so when my car stopped I thought we should give something back, and I went up the grandstand to give my gloves to the people who had been cheering me on.”

Have your say in the comment section below or on JA on F1’s Facebook Page.

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The language from McLaren in public is changing. That's 3 interviews given by 3 separate people (Boullier, Brown & Alonso) all publicly chastising Honda....

This is a prelude to a split.


You could also say that the engine completely lacks any jazz and fails to work in one accord with the chassis so yep therefore this is definitely a prelude to the break up of what might have been a legend of a second relationship.


Do you mean to say that Honda has a civic duty to be an integra(l) part of the solution?


They paid too much for the Spanish Pilot. The whole thing doesn't Fit. They are out of their Element and lack Insight. Time to end this Odyssey.


@ Sebee....on this Earth one cannot have Dreams of building decent engines.


We're not building engines. We're building PUs! (Pronounced: /po͞o/)


Alonso is a Shadow of his former self. He should retire to the Pacific Coast. Scoring points is no more than a Super Dream for McLaren at this point. They should have more faith in their Super Cub, Vandoorne.


@iceman, why do you say that? Until we see Alonso in a competitive car we have no way of knowing whether he's a "shadow of his former self."

Unless you have some expert insight that everyone else, including the experienced ex-racers in the paddock, is lacking?

I'm no particular fan of Alonso but it seems unfair to blame him for his car's shocking performance.


@Jim: it was facetious nonsense, nothing more than an excuse for some Honda model name puns.


Feel sorry for Stoffel, can't really tell it like it is with Honda, has to go head to head with Fernando as the only comparison, and would probably give anything to have Palmer's seat at Renault or Stroll's seat at Williams to show what he can do and to be able to race in the midfield...

Ricciardo Aficionado

Vandoorne to Williams is a great idea. He could replace either. It's not like he's an eighteen year old rookie. I'm sure he could score points equal to Massa and certainly score more than Stroll. Not sure what his dev skills are worth but he's been around a while. If Stroll is going nowhere still t the end of the year Vandoorne is a good swap. If Stroll is getting better, I'd like to see his potential.


I would agree but only with regard to perception. I think he probably likes having Alonso teach him, as we saw last year Alonso spent quite a bit of time helping him. Being able to watch and study him has to be worth more than watching or studying Hulk or Felipe...

Tornillo Amarillo

..."within spitting distance of the flag.”

@Jason : You can also say a prelude to a spit...

What a marvelous piece of poetry from Boullier!


Gutted. As soon as the commentators said Alonso was on track to bring in McLaren's first point, I just knew a DNF was on the way. I wish I could have been surprised. Honda's epic failure has been impossible to believe.


If Jenson had had his monaco rush of blood to the head three laps earlier Fernando could have cashed in! I assume Fernando was running the new motor they put in for JB.


It reminds me of the spontaneously combusting rocket fuelled engines of the eighties when winning was as much about attrition as skill. At least they were fast before they exploded.


I honestly believed the point was in the bag, didn't see the engine failure coming and the wording from mclaren is as it should be now

upgrades missed and reliability still lacking from Honda, the question that has to be asked is where would mclaren be with a Renault in the back of that car?
reaching as far as Mercedes or Ferrari engines shouldn't need to be considered for the theory crafting that will be going on at mclaren while mulling over this engine deal with Honda

what it they get it right next year right after splitting?
would be a bad look on mclaren for failing to keep faith


Have no idea why they keep dragging their heels. "Mighty Mclaren" now have turned into "Wet Weekend Mclaren". To have a Top Gun like Alonso in their team with all that experience , skill and desire.
Then provide him with an engine that is as useful as a rubber band powered children's toy car. No I take that back. The rubber band toy works better than a Honda powered Mclaren. HONDA "Power Your Dreams".😩
Instead it should be -
HONDA "Powers Your Nightmares".🙈
Mclaren have a good car and a bad engine.
Get rid of Honda now. Put a Mercedes engine in and you guarantee Alonso will remain at Mclaren.
All Mclaren are doing is loosing money, prestige. Also sponsors will not put their trade marks on a team associated with failure for the last 3 years.
I can't believe Alonso hasn't walked already.
Come on Mclaren stop the rot now !!!!!!
Not later because it will be too late.
Lando Norris get out fast if they stick with Honda. Look at Force India new updated engine they are doing great.
I've always backed Mclaren it's a total racing team. Now it's just mobility scooter lacking any power. Soon they'll have the reverse gear alert "BEEP CAUTION this mobility scooter is reversing BEEP!".
🔊Time to kick Honda out of Woking.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Get rid of Honda now. Put a Mercedes engine in and you guarantee Alonso will remain at Mclaren.

You also guarantee Alonso will remain a two time champion. Ron knew what he was talking about when he made this deal. He didn't know how bad it would go but he did know how much the engines cost. You really think Mercedes, Renault or Ferrari are going to let another team take credit and financial gain for winning the championship when they've invested upwards of a billion dollars in these PUs? No freaking way! If McLaren ditch Honda and settle for the midfield then they've failed worse than Honda.


I do think Mercedes would "let" McLaren beat them, or more to the point I don't think Mercedes would have any way of stopping them. What are they going to do, forget to ship McLaren's engines to some of the races?

Customer teams don't usually beat factory teams because they are smaller, operate on a fraction of the budget and are stuck with slower drivers. In cases where a customer team doesn't have those drawbacks, then there is no reason why they cannot beat the factory team, as Red Bull is doing to Renault, and McLaren did for 3 season to Mercedes.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Valid points Spino. I concede that Merc might let a customer team beat them now but only because it is well established that the PU is the differentiating factor in the formula now. So unlike RB winning with Renault (where Renault got little to no credit) a team winning with a Merc in the back will be put down to the PU. Nothing to lose for the Merc brand.
So either Ron's theory is out of date or he knows something you and I don't. I think at the time, however, it held water.


Red Bull disproved that.
Renault engine for 4 championships.
While Renault were racing in other guises such as Lotus at the time. Even though the new Renault engine is average they still are on the podium...twice in 2 races.
It never concerned Mclaren when they were running with Mercedes engines until Ron came back.
Honda are not going to win anything in the near future. Sauber and Honda are better suited. Until they get a great engine no one else will touch them.
Mclaren cannot be so low down.
If this was Manchester United/or City or Chelsea they'd sack their manager and players in an instant.
Mclarens shareholders won't pander to falling value of Mclaren.
It's shocking. I'm sure Alonso will be happy with a reliable engine. Mercedes have already given upgraded engines to Force India and Williams. The reason is to get as many teams involved so their opponents Ferrari are dealing with more competition.
The only thing that may stop Mercedes coming straight away is that Zak, and the other owners, have cashed up Honda money and it's now in their pockets. They just don't want to give some of it back. Greed.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Renault didn't have a works team when RB won championships. And the PU was a cheap, simple, homologised V8.
When shareholders start making racing decisions based on the value of their investment it is the beginning of the end.
What happened to "McLaren exist to win"? Has it become "McLaren exist to put in place an operative strategy that minimises risk to brand and creates a stable financial environment whilst implementing a five year plan to pay down debt and consolidate market share at a sustainable level"?
Alonso walks. The marketing man takes over.


Me and a group of mates are driving down to Le Mans this coming weekend to see if Toyota* can burst Porsche's winning La Sartha bubble. Yes, that's right - a Japanese manufacturer might actually win something! Being Japanese, Toyota will probably snatch defeat from the jaws of victory though..........

I actually think the Japanese automotive industry is having a "mid life crisis" analogous to the British car industry in the mid to late 70s, living off past glories and still in a deluded state believing what it makes is the best in the world and is cutting edge. By the mid 70s, the German (and ironically, Japanese) car industries had turbocharged their way past the old Tommy's with the English manufacturers plagued by useless, aloof, out of date Colonel Blimp management, abrasive unions and a workforce that was on strike huddled around braziers in donkey jackets. Have the Japanese caught "the British disease" of the 70s???

*Piloted by familiar names Nakajima, Davidson, Buemi and Kobayishi for Toyota. Surely with all that experience and nous Toyota can't fail, but........

Ricciardo Aficionado

Yes, that's right - a Japanese manufacturer might actually win something!

Like the Indianapolis 500?
It already happened. Did you miss it? Apparently your bearded samurai was there too...


A few of those indy 500 Honda engines blew up.


But the truth is, Honda has the best selling car in the US, and even in Singapore they've got a car that is selling extremely well. I guess at the end of the day if their products are selling, it can't be all wrong.


I'm in finance business. From what I can see, Japanese auto industry is doing better than any European and American companies. But F1 is a different beast. Toyota and Honda do very well in other categories. Most of the guys in top 10 of Indy are powered by Honda. When it comes to F1, their philosophy just don't work. Not just Japanese, remember Cosworth? Remember how unreliable they were in the last few years in F1? It's all about cultural and unique engineering skill in F1. To win, they need to get the basics right first.


Toyota are cursed to never win le mans, I'm convinced after last year's finish

no clue who Mr Toyoda upset but they must be having a laugh each time Toyota start up a new motorsport project


Did you watch the Senior TT? 😉


“But, after so much toil and heartache, even that single point would have felt like a victory"

My how far McLaren have fallen. 10th place is not a victory and moral victories don't count. McLaren should be battling for podiums every race and anything less is simply failure. Listening to Boullier, I'm reminded of the end of 1984 when Oceania "wins" the fake battle - "Victory-greatest victory in human history-victory, victory, victory!"


Switching to Mercedes power would be double plus good!

Ricciardo Aficionado

Does that make Alonso Winston Smith?
Shouldn't be too long before he's hitting the gin.


Ironic that Winston Smith lived at 'Victory Mansions' !


I'm with you on this. In fact, I think it's a good thing that Alonso didn't get the 10th place. Honda has had plenty of time to adapt to the new F1, but failed miserably. So, a little glimmer of hope would've made McLaren think that Honda might be getting back on track, which is nothing but false hope based on the results so far. Now hopefully mclaren will be forced to cut ties with Honda. Unless McLaren start finishing in top 6 consistently very soo, no point is better result for McLaren and its fans.


Alonso must be getting pretty tired of their BS engines by now. Even their Indy engine failed him.
Heads should roll but won't.


Four of the first five finishers at Indy had Honda engines. Their engine brought Takuma Sato home the winner. The Indy comparison is an empty one.


To really put the boot in, Honda went and gave him a 3 row SUV Honda Pilot to drive around in while in Canada compared to the rivals mostly all driving super cars \ luxury cars like AMG's and Maserati's etc. You'd think Honda would try to keep him slightly happy but giving him an NSX to drive around in for a few days. Vandoorne was given a CRV!


I guess it was an attempt to remind the F1 drivers how little F1 PUs have to do with real world and how little F1 marketing means to Honda product.


Time for harakiri


"Heads should roll..."
Unfortunately the Japanese don't do that kind of thing anymore.


Is Honda doing this to facilitate an exit from F1?

Previous CEO signed them up for this. Perhaps this CEO isn't fond of F1 effort. F1 program is crazy expensive probably and offers little benefit with hybrid market size and technology not taking off and sales flat or shrinking. Honda no longer sees the benefit of hybrid with electric future and Honda even going after fuel cells too.

Could it be that there is no performance clause in the contract and Honda is frustrating McLaren to have them initiate the contract termination? As always, who terminates the contract is very important to how much damages are paid out to close things out. If McLaren says thank you, we'd like to end it, Honda is off the hook. Nice and easy.


Only they signed sauber up next year... and that fits with your exit F1 story how?


if it's deliberate negligence then mclaren will no doubt have them in a court of law at some point

Honda did fire their first engine designer btw, I think current guy is going to be moved on too if his delayed upgrades fail, japanese seem too professional of a culture to be this bad on purpose


How would you prove neglect in a prototyping environment like F1? Honda paid. Honda made and engine. It didn't work. McLaren choose to not use it.

If there is no performance clause, McLaren have no case.


its negligence when they scrapped a concept that was further ahead than the current concept and more reliable to boot

consider that the knowledge on previous pu's from this generation is public knowledge, if it was of import to build a good engine then some more knowledge would have been used from the previous spec of successful pu's

heck rbr prototyped their own upgrades for renault which renault then rejected, if they didn't make a decent engine when all was said and done we would be talking about their negligence too during this era

and it is certainly negligence when upgrades are skipped on twice, i dont know what job you work in but if i fail to meet my deadlines twice in a row i'm out of a job, the reason cited will be negligence


Didn't McLaren do that too? They had a fast car like 2012 and scraped it for a new concept for 2013 that sucked, right?

What you say does not meet the definition of negligence. Only performance clause can save McLaren here.

They are lost. Not the team they used to be at all. It will take a miracle to get back to those successes. I thought Honda wanted out of F1 for some time now.


You should read an article by James' friend, Joe Saward, regarding the benefits that Mercedes gets in their car sales by being in F1. Mind blowing figures.


I went to Joe's site a while back. He lost credibility in my view when I challenged him on an article he wrote and he defended himself by arguing I should read his blog terms and reminded me that his site is not a news site. Then he proceeded to post a bunch of news articles he wrote right after that. Integrity anyone?

Seems like this is another non-news article spun by Joe.

I'm not going to read it because I don't go to that site anymore. Since you read it, I'm going to ask you to confirm that he credits sales growth at Mercedes and gains is share to their success in F1, and doesn't at all mention or credit the sales growth or share growth to Mercedes push into lower car price points or to doubling of model offering mostly in lower end of car price range. Right? It's all thanks to F1, not TV commercials of C Class smashing through steel beams unscathed. Did he happen to mention Consumer's Report car brand reliability ratings for 2016 with Mercedes at 17th - below Chevrolet and below Kia and Hyundai who are in top 10? The best or nothing! But hey...it's at least an improvement on 21st spot in 2015.

I assure you, F1 had little to do with convincing buyers to buy these lower priced new models that entered Mercedes brand into price brackets and segments it was not in 2013 or 2014. So yes, growth, but hardly due to F1. More like due to CEO pushing product team to deliver these new products and consumers responding.


Joe wrote this:
Last year Dieter Zetsche, the chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, was asked whether he believed the company’s successful Formula 1 programme had helped the company in its impressive drive for growth. And before we go further, just stop and think about the figures involved. Mercedes sales have effectively doubled since 2009, going from just over one million to last year’s two million. Its subsidiary Mercedes-AMG recorded 44.1 percent growth in 2016 and has more than tripled its sales in the past three years. The main Mercedes companies has enjoyed six consecutive record years with double digit growth each year. It has now become the leading premium car company in the world and the technology from Formula 1 is now working its way through into the company’s product range.

“It’s difficult to scientifically develop a correlation between our efforts and success in motor sport and our success on the business side,” Zetsche admitted, “but I’m totally convinced that it is not by accident that in the last three years our brand has developed a fantastic momentum and coolness factor – and this resulted ultimately in lots of sales. At the same time, we took off in motor sport and I think that is not by accident, there is a strong correlation in both directions. We are convinced that the Mercedes brand is defined on the one hand by its intelligence and coolness that is a factor that is based on rationality, and on the other side emotions. Motor sport represents both. On the one hand it is pure emotion, but on the other requires intelligence of the best technical solutions at the same time.

“There are hundreds of millions of viewers for every race on TV screens around the globe and this is comparable only with events like the World Cup or Olympic Games. The only difference is that it is not every fourth year but this year 21 times in one year. That’s a great platform and therefore extremely important for us.”


OK, that's a spin without facts as I thought.

As noted Mercedes has not only doubled volume but model offering and mostly in lower end of price range.

AMG brand has beed so watered down it is not even funny. V6 engines, I think 4cyl AMG engines too. What used to be a relatively exclusive car, no longer is. AMG everywhere including AMG appearance packages on normal models. Hey...whatever. I don't blame them. Revenue is revenue. But let's not blow sunshine that F1 did this growth. It didn't. Product strategy and road map did.

But funniest one is Joe's claim of Technology Transfer from F1 to actual road product. Really? Maybe he'll point us to that transfer? Oh...the 275 examples of the hypercar that will feature a no longer 1000hp PU? That's transfer? Or is that a marketing effort piggybacking F1 spend? Or maybe it is the Mercedes EQ Power that's powering the F1 car...no, EQ Power first car will be a 100% electric SUV. Oh and EQ Stands for Electric Intelligence...that always makes me laugh. Because intelligence starts with a Q. Marketing gone wild can't even spell.

Thanks for confirming the continued spin by Joe that reads like an advertorial piece. Reminds me of that time he heard at lunch in the cafeteria that Apple is buying McLaren. Or that time Joe heard in the men's WC that Apple is buying F1. I can smell the cow manure on that not - news blog a mile away.


James Allen also had 2 articles here about Apple and McLaren. Joe and James report the news that came out in the Financial Times. Like James said in his article around September 2016 about McLaren and Apple, discussions certainly took place, but as we know today, nothing happened.
Not sure what your beef with Joe is, not missing a race in 20+ years is something and I would definitely read his articles written in paddocks or airports rather than those who write them sitting on their home sofa, pretending to be at the circuit.
Joe is known to respond straight to the point without sugar-coating it, so that obviously didn't play well with you. Must've hurt your feelings pretty bad.
Leaving that aside, to say that F1 is too expensive and doesn't help the road cars, you must be out of this world. The likes of Mercedes and Ferrari get a big part of their money spent on F1 back from the prize fund, their concorde agreements, merchandise and the sponsors. So basically they pay very little for the huge exposure that F1 offers every 2 weeks pretty much. Like Dieter Zetsche said, there are hundreds of millions of viewers every race around the globe. What other event gives you that exposure 20 times in a year?
You need to get your head out of the sand Sebee..


One more thing, and I'm going from memory here, but when James wrote about Apple stories here, it was way more analytical. Even considering that Apple would never talk about such things, at least he took the time to add valuable info to the speculation. Technology McLaren had that Apple may want, or logical look at reason why there may be fire behind the smoke screen. Such context was quite lacking elsewhere. I'm not saying this is blog is the bee's knees, but at last when I read things here there is info to learn, vs. pieces like Joe's where I'm just irritated at all the info lacking as I read it.


Look, there is no doubt that Joe enjoys the life F1 provides him and pays his dues in form of these articles. Nothing wrong with that I guess - everyone sells. At the same time it looks suck-up-ish on this end of the screen.

If he responds without sugar coating it, I must have not experienced it. I'm quite to the point and when I called him out on the claims he made about fuel efficiency of the PUs (...this went back a while to C63 pointing it out) I did so without sugar coating it. I said to him, you're making these claims and they have no data behind them and these claims lack context - like affordability. Explain please. That's when he started to hide behind the fact that I wasn't sugar coating it and started telling me that I should read his blog terms and that his blog isn't news. I found that to be so weak - for a "F1 reporter" to hide behind some terms and claim his blog isn't news, when in fact it is mostly news stories - yes? He said I'm being rude and punched out. All and all quite lame.

I don't care who James is mates with, it gives others no legitimacy of any sort. What is this, some type of he's good so his friends must be too? I find this blog more real. It doesn't have that suck-up-ish approach and often calls it as it is. I have no doubt James "eats it" a few times for those pieces, but that only adds to the fact that I can read views here that don't feel like 1/2 a bag of F1 sugar in my mouth.

That Apple thing - my understanding is that at least one of those 2 stories started with Joe as source, if not both. You know how media is now - quite lazy. The quote twitter, Facebook and other articles "according to" crap to brush off liability. Resources are thinner than they used to be and few have the money to check all facts, so they brush off the liability for errors onto sources. Those pieces quoted Joe from my recollection. Can you imagine Walter Cronkite quoting twitter in his news reports? Things have changed, and we don't even notice it. It is this looseness that irritates me about Joe. But hey, he's free to write what he wants, just as are we. In the end clearly Joe doesn't see it as news and more as entertainment. Fair enough.

All I'm saying is that Joe's piece is not the quality and standard I would expect form a veteran of the sport. Are the points about product I made valid and true? Absolutely. Why weren't they mentioned in the piece? That is why Mercedes grew, not because of F1. Where was doubling of sales for Red Bull during their 4 year run? Or for Renault? Infiniti? What if I told you that Infiniti sales were lower than few years earlier when Red Bull was on their 4 year run? That's with actual Vettel edition cars too. Crickets. Funny enough Renault started to point fingers at Red Bull for not highlighting the brand enough, putting blame for poor sales at the marketing program not products that didn't connect with people. Funny, ain't it? How are Honda doing? Would it shock you to learn that as they have been sucking large in F1 their sales are best ever? How is that for effectiveness of marketing in F1? Where is that little tidbit of info for context?

I'm out of the sand. I'm under no illusions here and actually love digging deeper. That's why surface fluff like that Mercedes F1 marketing piece Joe wrote is lazy and irritating. Give me context. Give me data. Give me facts. Quit with the sugar glazing Joe, it's making my teeth itch. Guess what - when I told Joe it was lazy reporting, he hid behind his terms. Funny.


You moved to the point of comparing the two blogs/sites. Why?
Nobody questioned this site. The Apple story was reported in the Financial Times man...not by Joe. And yes, Joe blog is not a news site..si a blog where he writes what he wants, when he wants.
Compare this site where there are 3-4 stories every week with Joe's where he has 1 or 2. Joe writes articles for different magazines and websites and his blog is just for him to put something that fans like me like to read, something more than what you might find on other F1 websites, something he heard while in the paddock etc.
Also, you talk about data about the fuel on the PUs...what data exactly you want him to write? copies of the fuel consumption from Ferrari and Mercedes? Really? We can apply this logic to every article about F1..ohh Mercedes are now the underdog..no that is not true because you have not posted any data showing Ferrari is better than Mercedes. Come on Sebee..get real.
You just don't want to accept that Joe's articles are just notes and blog posts. He writes about the struggles of getting Russian and Chinese visas. Did you see any of those on any proper F1 websites? No. Because fans won't pay for a subscription to read about getting visas. Maybe you should try and read one of Joe and 3 other colleagues of his e-magazine that comes out after each race. See there the in-depth information.
You know very well how many secrets are in F1..everything is basically made up of secrets..so for a journalist to get the right story out, they need to be there and get a feeling from an engineer and a bit from a driver and read between the lines of a team principal's interview and then try to work out what their next move might be. Nobody is going to come to you and give you data and the true story so you can post it on your website.

All I'm saying is that even the Mercedes guy admitted F1 is helping with car sales, and I can look at the estimated figures involved in F1 to see that from an exposure POV being in F1 makes sense. If it wouldn't why would anyone be in F1? You are questioning here the world champion team's corelation between F1 technology and road cars, but what about Haas and Renault that are midfielders and who don't get the exposure that Mercedes gets. Why are they still here? Renault took a lot of heat from RedBull a few years back, but they are still here. Give me your answers and I want data/proof to back those answers as well. See how you can do with that.


I can't see that they would deliberately sabotage their own engines just to get out of a contract.
Once again, they don't know what happened or why.
The big question now is when will McLaren throw Honda out ... they still have alll the drawings from 2014 on the Merc engine ... there will be a team already working on fitting the MB engine into the current chassis. My bet is that at the end of the summer break, Honda will be gone.


Do we know how long the contract is? Do we know the cost of early termination for Honda? It may be a lovely strategy that can even be explained away to Honda's benefit. Hybrid is expensive and complicated - get a low cost petrol engine or new 100% electric Honda.

I'm starting to think that frustrating McLaren into ending the contract is a play here.


The thing is, surely it's extremely damaging to Honda as a brand isn't it? I don't think it's a case of any publicity is good publicity. This is Honda, the great engine builder supposedly and yet they can't get an engine right in 3 or more years. It's shockingly bad PR.


Yes. But it's also damaging for F1. Honda can spin this into a "hybrid sucks, it's complicated and expensive, choose small displacement petrol or 100% electric Honda instead" type of message.

I think Honda's Consumer Reports reliability standing is far more damaging than this F1 engine. I think this F1 program is just a thorn in Honda's new CEOs but. He's spending profit dollars that represent probably billions in sales on this total waste of F1 effort he knows they have no chance of winning.

As the old saying goes, you fight the battles you can win. Honda can't win this one. So what remains is exit at minimum cost.


"Is Honda doing this to facilitate an exit from F1?"

You're thinking they took some tips from Vettel? 😉

In all seriousness, no, I can't see that being the case.

If Honda were able to build a decent engine by now they would have done it by now, and if they wanted to walk they would have just walked. After all, when they're giving McLaren 100m in free engines a season is a contact termination going to bite their wallet much more?

Not only that, but why sign up with Sauber if they were planning to leave? It doesn't make sense.

Honda have failed, pure and simple, and even if by some miracle they rock up with a world beating engine in a few months time it will be too little, too late - The split with McLaren is all but inevitable now (provided that McLaren can find another supplier of course).

Quick question though James - If McLaren do ditch Honda and Sauber then becomes the de facto Honda factory team, does that mean that Sauber will likely receive free engines for 2018?

If so, some Sauber-Honda maths:

Expensive but reliable Ferrari engines + no points = 😐
Free but unreliable Honda engines + no points = 😀

Check it Sebee.


Did you see the electric IEA numbers? There are 2 million electric passanger cars on the roads, and 750k sold in 2016 alone. In Norway electric cars have 29% market share already.

And then there is this about China.
China has 200 million electric two-wheelers, 3 million to 4 million low-speed electric vehicles, and more than 300,000 electric buses, none of which were counted in the IEA’s official EV numbers.

Petrol scooters replaced by electric in crazy numbers. Future is 100% electric.


I noted that if McLaren dump Honda and Sauber see success with it it would be hilarious. BUT, I don't think Honda stay with Sauber. I think Sauber was in no position to negotiate terms and I'm quite certain there are nice exit clause points for Honda from that supply. I think Sauber will be crawling back to Ferrari in 2018 personally.

I think the deal may be rich and expensive and we don't know even how long it is, right? So having McLarne want the exit may present big savings to Honda on the whole adventure. If Honda say bye, McLaren will demand they pay for supply for remainder of contract at least, plus potentially damages. I think they ARE stuck in quagmire here and Honda doesn't want to play F1 game anymore, but contractually it is obligated.

I've said this before and I'll say it again. I don't hold Honda responsible here. They started behind the ball. Like comparing Stroll and Max. Max had the benefit of the ramp up, Stroll not so much. I blame these complex rules. As a consumer, I wouldn't hold F1 withdrawal against Honda. These engines have nothing to do with their decent consumer products.


I follow your logic but I don't believe they would hurt their reputation that way. If they wanted out for the reasons you suggest, I think they would buy their way out. I think this is just a colossal failure - one that makes Renault a couple of years ago look like a triumph in comparison.


Their reputation is already hurt. From airbags, to reliability ratings for their cars dropping, to Alonso Indy engine. There is little sunshine in Hondaland. Which is why they may want to get out of this F1 adventure previous CEO got them into, but the cost of exit may be so high, having McLaren request termination of contract limits liability for Honda. I can't see how McLaren has leverage here either. They can talk all they want to, they've already said bad things about Honda in public. Honda can afford to play the game. F1 adventure isn't impacting sales of the Civic at all. McLaren meanwhile lives on F1. The need it. They can't afford this much longer. McLaren is not in position of power here at all. Also, less fans than ever watch F1, and as a back marker not like McLaren Honda gets much TV time.

One thing is certain, there won't be any future Honda efforts at McLaren reliving the glory days. That is a permanent divorce.


Does the new Honda CEO still work for Toyota!


Hachigo San is a Honda man 100% - blood type "H".

Stephen Taylor

If McLaren want to be World Champions they must ride the storm with Honda and wait until things come good. The won't win a WDC/WCC with a customer engine even if it is a Mercedes engine. The Mercedes engine can only be optimised ann Petronas branded fuel -use any other fuel and they won't don't get optimum performance from PU and still be down on power like they were in 2014. Had McLaren pushed Honda harder in 2015 for improvement rather than assuming everything would magically come good after 2 or 3 seasons maybe Honda wouldn't still be in this dreadful mess. McLaren have paid the price for giving Honda too much free will to do as they pleased at the beginning of this project.


Stephen, question is how long do you persist with this? Its literally no good for such an iconic brand to be dead last! you think they can be champions in season or two? This will be bring a terminal end to their company if this continues. How do you attract talent in any field when you're dead last...literally!


Honda's best option may be to take an extended sabbatical, and come back in 2021, and spending 3-yrs throwing all their resources at developing a PU under the new regulations.

From McLarens perspective, I'd would suppose that a few years of brand-rebuilding with Mercedes power would be useful. They may even be able to engineer an first right of refusal option with Honda, to come back as a factory team if/when Honda are competitive.


How long is a piece of string?


On the contrary honda pushed mclaren away and closed its doors on engine design, they have made a pig's ear of it not mclaren.

What is embarrassing is the fact that 3 years on they have failed to build a v6 engine block that is free from vibration and catastrophic oil leaks. For an engine manufacturer of their ability you would think they could fo better than this!


Are you so sure about the fuel? a) that it can't be copied, and b) that it makes that much difference (given the limited freedom in the rules)? Remember on JA on F1 when Fernando (at Ferrari) tested with the fuel we can buy at filling stations. Lap times were very very similar, and top speed was higher.


It's driving me crazy..... Even I used to Honda Engine failure, the sadness just come straight away when I saw Nando's car smoking...

Some said they have 10 years contract, but if Honda demand compensation, it will be the biggest laughing joke in racing histort

PS: Mclaren fans since 95


It's almost like Honda are finding ever more inventive ways to destroy McLaren's faith in them. Next I'm sure they'll have an engine failure while Fernando drives the wheels off the car and is leading on the last lap.

In all seriousness, I expect a Mercedes deal to be announced by the summer break, and I think Fernando will stay with a pay cut for lack of a better option. Will be interesting to see what McLaren can do with that, they'll have to be beating the other customer teams at the very least, which lest we forget they didn't do in 2014 when they were Mercedes customers...


Time to bin honda and go back to mercedes. After all they were together for 20 yrs . Surely the $100 million that honda give to mclaren plus free engines obviously is offset massively by negative press and no fom money etc. They tried to recreate past history and past glory but let's be honest honda/Toyota in f1 in last 20 yrs have managed just 1 victory and that was button at hungary in wet.
Give alonso a mercedes engine and let him have 2 years to try and win a 3rd title. Then there really will be no excuses.


I am most surprised McLaren have sat on this for so long - there must be some underlying reason ...


Finance.....Hasn't been said that McLaren has been having financial issues all on their own and Honda is pretty much hold them afloat?


They were steadily improving in 2016, so there was cause for optimism.

Before pre-season testing, the odds for Vettel and Alonso to win the WDC were actually almost equal. So no one really saw this disaster of a season coming for Mclaren.


$100 million annually in sponsorship income + free engines. Last year at least it looked as though Honda was making genuine progress and Mclaren Honda had 16 points finishes. 2017 should have seen another bump up in power and reliability with the car in the top 10 most of the time, instead they are doing worse than 2015.
Honda simply aren't taking this seriously, it was very telling when Hasegawa admitted (apparently by accident) that by Christmas 2016 they still hadn't built a full scale 2017 engine and were basing design work off a single cylinder mock up. I imagine Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault must have been sat stifling their laughter at that one.


it may have looked as if they were making progress last year but their Axial flow compressor while a neat solution was simmply never going to work well enought to compete with a nomal Turbocharger. The 64K dollar question why why they did not copy Mercedes split compressor in the first place - after all the McLaren enngineers whould have had a fair idea of how that thing worked. Maybe Honda simply believed that they knew best.


The money they are getting from Honda must be the reason. Do you see any other sponsors on the car? Honda are paying Mclaren to run their engines.


Looks like this deal is over. Merc or Renault next year?


Mercedes, both because of their past relationship (which should be improving again in the absence of Ron) and because Mercedes have spare capacity to supply engines that would have gone to Manor.


That all depends - didn't Merc renege on a verbal deal with another team because they were disparaging their current engine supplier / didn't want to compete with them chassis vs chassis? 😉


The Red Bull situation was somewhat different. Red Bull's behaviour towards Renault was atrocious, Renault got caught out by a change in the rules banning pre-fueling, which hurt RB. The car wasn't that unreliable (six DNF's I think?) and Red Bull dragged Renault through the mud relentlessly, forgetting that their car's inadequate cooling was part of the problem. Their aggressive behaviour and assumption that they had the 'right' to whichever engine they chose did them no favours. Plus they made all this noise over getting bumped to fourth, they weren't exactly humiliated by anyone but themselves.
By comparison Mclaren have been patient as saints, plus they have history with Mercedes and the primary force behind their split (Ron) is no longer present. I see no reason why Mercedes wouldn't want them back on board, even if they were to somehow beat Merc Mclaren would take the time to speak well of their new engines that made it possible.


Cosworth.. the new contender..


If they go down the Cosworth route, they will following Sauber next year....


Really sad to see the state of affairs at Mclaren...Even though they have done a good things at their end but are helpless with Honda...Don't understand why a company like Honda continue to suck to this extent...Its a disgrace for the Brand Honda and also for Mclaren...Hope something changes quickly 🙁


They keep saying the same pr bs, what is really mclaren getting out of coming last in F1? They should switch to merc and dump Honda asap. Boullier and co have been saying this unacceptable for three years now, what are you doing about it, really?
The mclaren team have become a joke!


Their hands are tied. There are no good options open to them, as far as I can see?


You can sense Alonso's increasing frustration by the way he removes the cockpit head surround and chucks it out of the car.

Mario Andretti is right - he's wasting his time this year. Any chance of a late entry for Le Mans? I don't believe there are any Honda powered cars entered so he'd stand a fighting chance of a good result.

I've probably got more of a chance of a point driving my wife's Micra!


Toyota should snap him up for one of their LMP1 cars... that would stick it up Honda!


As Fernando Alonso would say "El Divorcio!"


This is now a category of criticism which starting to sound like "lets get out of this contract based on performance" and "make it legit by end of this year".


When Hamilton signed for merc in 2012 I said Mclaren will never win a title again. In 2007 I was gobsmacked to see HAM stronger than Alonso mid-season and was frustrated by Ron's indecision about that dilemma. Even if Alonso is truly a better driver his temperament failed him that year. Anyway, back to 2012 and I thought wow, Mclaren haven't even learnt how to retain a driver who can win them a WDC - they're finished! And then I was rubbished for saying JB (a good guy, admittedly) won't win a the race in 2013 and if he did I would shave all my hair and put it on a pasta dish and eat it! I knew Mclaren were done for. And now Honda look so ridiculously out of their depth its too painful to follow this partnership anymore. Pre-2015 the optimist in me thought Alonso could sneak a Hungary victory, but alas I was wrong. Mclaren should've courted BMW - Honda joins Mclarens ever growing list of lamentable descicions...


Looks like this is the beginning of the end. First Zak Brown, now Boullier, they really aren't mincing their words now.

The only thing I wonder about now is whether McLaren will leave Honda for good, or just as a temporary measure if/when Honda sorts itself out.


If the words are sticks -
It's ironic that that the livery is carrot-like.


If you are so good at it McLaren, build your own engine!

It's having been to the mountaintop and trying to stay on top. Remember Williams Grand Prix Engineering?


McLaren may appear to be very harsh on Honda recently and not sounding like a partnership. It all started at pre-season testing this year, with all the issues. McLaren started the finger pointing as isolation of Honda being the problem.
I think it stems from the fact that Honda didn't and hasn't carried McLaren along with the challenges they were facing with the 2017 PU. I remember in the off season reading various reports, Jonathan Neele said McLaren would be disappointed with 4th in the constructors, Alonso declared Honda would be the least of their worries, suggesting that the main challenge would be interpreting the new aero rules correctly. Then the was the orange livery campaign, McLaren really saw 2017 as a rebirth. At the unveiling, Zak thanked the team for putting together a very fast car.
From all indications, Honda didn't intimate McLaren with how huge a problem they were having on the dyno, transferring performance from the single cylinder test to the 6 cylinder etc. I think also applies to the upgrade for Canada that didn't materialize, Zak implied they got to know more or less last minute.
If Honda had been more open, I guess McLaren would have prepared themselves for a season of 2 halves.


Honda were not truthful about their winter 2016 development. They knew they were in trouble, but instead of quietly managing expectations, they stoked the pre-season hype, not only allowing McLaren to publicly declare their racing team renaissance, but also by suggesting they were at the level of the season-ending 2016 Mercedes PU! The restraint shown by Boullier, Brown, Neale, Alonso and Van Doorne has been saint-like in the circumstances.


Interesting point you make about Honda not being truthful. I don't know if times have changed, but I certainly recall from the business culture of past years how working with Japanese colleagues could often be frustrating because of their cultural 'reluctance' to say 'no' or 'sorry we can't do that.'


I mean, we read so much about vibration harmonies etc. I'm surprised but interested to learn that they first prototype with one cylinder.


Interesting - are new designs really developed as one cylinder first? I did not know that.


please please please, stop talking and break up already.


Oi, stop impersonating me!


McLaren divorce is surely a done deal, give the language being used.

Spare a thought for Sauber; what does this mean for them? Surely Honda will not hang around in F1 just for Sauber... and nobody else is desperate enough to want a Honda (lack of) power unit in their car.


"Spare a thought for Sauber; what does this mean for them?"

Based on Alonso's recent history of judging when to walk away from a lack of performance... probably means Sauber and Honda will hit the sweet spot and be challenging for the constructor championship!




You don't understand Honda entering F1 in 2015. The engine rules changed in 2014 so they were already one year behind everyone else. Then they only supply McLaren so they miss out a massive amounts of data they could have gained by having more cars in the field.


Honda should have had a massive advantage when they entered in 2015:
1. They had an extra year to plan the engine by observing a great engine in action - McLaren ran the Mercedes powerhouse in 2014.
2. They had a full year of observing the disaster at Renault and Red Bull so they knew exactly what NOT to do.
3. They partnered with a team (McLaren) that had world class resources and engineering. Plus McLaren had two very experienced drivers who could give them great knowledge about how the Mercedes and Ferrari powertrains functioned during the race.
4. Finally, unlike Renault they were given significant relief under the token system that was hindering the other teams from fixing problems with their engines.

I knew the Mclaren-Honda partnership was going to fail when in 2015, McLaren designed the "size zero" chassis that apparently surprised the Honda engineers (and their bigger engine). Leaving me with the impression the two companies were on some weird F1 blind date with neither side aware of what the other was expecting.


I used to hear the opposite thing, that honda have an advantage and implement the best design which is the merc engine...clearly it didnt really work out that way


How many more years will we hear this?


More data? Honda could supply all 20 cars with that PU and the data wouldn't make it any better.

The McLaren data is:
Honda Failure / Honda Failure - unreliable, very thristy and dangerously slow.
Upgrades - none as problems not understood.

The extra data would be:
Honda Failure / Honda Failure - unreliable, very thristy and dangerously slow.
Honda Failure / Honda Failure - unreliable, very thristy and dangerously slow.
Honda Failure / Honda Failure - unreliable, very thristy and dangerously slow.
Honda Failure / Honda Failure - unreliable, very thristy and dangerously slow.
Honda Failure / Honda Failure - unreliable, very thristy and dangerously slow.
Honda Failure / Honda Failure - unreliable, very thristy and dangerously slow.
Honda Failure / Honda Failure - unreliable, very thristy and dangerously slow.
Honda Failure / Honda Failure - unreliable, very thristy and dangerously slow.
Honda Failure / Honda Failure - unreliable, very thristy and dangerously slow.
Honda Failure / Honda Failure - unreliable, very thristy and dangerously slow.
Upgrades - none as problems not understood.

It's mindblowing how backwards Honda are this year, assuming from their "tests", or pretending, everything would be great. They've made the McLaren management look like fools.

It's even more mindblowing that they cannot bring some form of upgrade over all these races!

If the PUs are too complicated for Honda and Renault to troubleshoot and develop (with their admittedly much lower investment than Merc) then nobody else will join F1.


James, do you have any insight on the sudden change in tone? I wonder if it's possible that Mclaren have a performance clause in the contract, and they know Honda will not meet the requirements? That's the only thing that makes sense to me, if Mclaren feel by going public with frustration, Honda will bend to a more open strategy. To me it still seems their best hope of a strong challenge is banding together with Honda and fixing this.

Honda for their part are a joke, they thought at the start of the year that the engine seemed too easy to build. They've had two years already and didn't realise the flat dyno can't truly mimic the race rigours? The fault however isn't only Honda's. Mclaren should have gone to great lengths to make sure both were on the same page, instead of only 3 years later. I can't understand how Dennis, a man reputed for being a scrutineer, didn't plan or foresee this. My prediction is Honda have till Austria to bring in the update and prove it is meaningful and progressive. I actually believe Austria will be a breaking point for Red Bull also, as Renault has only recently changed their tune on an engine update.


Force a split where Honda compensate them on way out you mean?

Or have a white label Merc for 2018 while Homda get it together then reunite for 2019 - all funded by Honda

That would be the smart deal


It would be a very smart deal, but would the Honda board really sanction that? Unless there is some transfer of technology in there, so they are effectively investing in IP (whilst saving face), I can't think of how a board could otherwise sell that to its shareholders...


Exactly, a situation where Honda have failed to meet contractual obligations that allow Mclaren to suggest, let us white label a Merc for one year, and once Honda are confident, shift back to the partnership.

By the way James, it would be really interesting if you could do a piece on engines, particularly why it is so hard for Honda and Renault to even catch up to Mercedes, even after all this time. Honda abandoned their old design, Renault apparently start next year on a new design. It seems like engines will be a huge issue for Mclaren and Red Bull and it's only a matter of time before the latter start speaking out.


Why would Toto Wolff make that kind of a deal. If he did the Mercedes board should fire him as motorsport chief. It would make Mercedes look desperate and stupid, while souring its relationship with the other partners in its stable (Williams and Force India) .

The McLaren - Honda divorce is going to be permanent. The loss of face for the Japanese company would be too much. That Sauber deal looks very much like a Bernie type deal, that kills two birds with one stone. It bails out Honda, by allowing them to avoid running home to Japan with nothing to show after making big noises about the Mclaren reunion and it bails out Sauber (Monisha Kaltenborn) who has been at the forefront of a complaining about the unfairness of F1 finances. In addition, since Sauber is a much smaller outfit and its two drivers are contracted to other teams, Honda can spend 50% LESS with Sauber which will also be a cost saving plus.

The potential losers in this merry go round might be Williams, Force India and Alonso. The first two because a competitive McLaren threatens them, and Alonso because McLaren will be rebuilding from the start and why pay $40 Million plus to a driver when you need to save money to pay for the new engines until you find a long term sponsor? I will be shocked if Zak Brown does not take this opportunity to recast McLaren as a new team. Hold off on the engine contract until October, release Alonso in September (at his request) and then in December after the season add a young prospect to rebuild along with Vandoorne. That is what an American sports team would do.


Wolff doesn't want to do the deal

I believe Mansour Ojjeh appeal to Zetsche is at the heart of it


Yet again we hear

“We won’t know the exact cause until we get the power unit back to Sakura."

It's as if nobody from Honda at race weekends has the first clue about their PU.

Is it just one clever Japanese guy back home that understands the Honda?
Clever because he has let everyone else at Honda think he is a brilliant engineer for the past three years 😉

Ricciardo Aficionado

I've said it before I'll say it again, ur a funny guy c4wd 🙂

I think it might just be one guy back home at Honda.
Not sure if he's clever.


You'd be surprised how many companies are held up by an individual that knows everything that no one else does. They are sometimes the companies greatest strength and often it's biggest weakness. Those exact words were used to describe someone in my company yesterday.


There must be a performance break clause in there for both sides sake surely.
Honda should have returned in an anonymous fashion claiming a long period of research and development was ahead with say manor .but then they met mclaren.
Sadly the japanese are still a bit stuck in the 90s when you showed people round your flashy facility and then signed them on multi year deals.
The last hurrah for Ron and the Japanese Ron's.


I think I have found the reason behind Mclaren's poor performance. The similarly of colour schemes cannot be coincidence. All that is missing is a big L.


A couple of observations:

First, when Red Bull made similarly harsh pronouncements about Renault, an awful lot of people condemned them as whiners for thinking themselves "entitled" to a competitive engine. Is McLaren worthy of the same ridicule, or are they sympathetic where RBR wasn't?

Second, the history of F1 is littered with the failure and disappearance or eclipse of once mighty teams (Lotus, BRM, Tyrrell, Maserati, Vanwall, Cooper, Brabham, Alfa... Williams... World Champions all). So it's not unthinkable for McLaren to fall into long term backmarker status or worse, distasteful though it may seem.

Third, if McLaren does break with Honda, they risk the potential humiliation of Honda getting things right next year with Sauber. The fact is that Ron Dennis set McLaren on the Honda path, and as its sole team. If you take that road, you have to be willing to take the pain of a long wait for the payoff. More bluntly, you have to be ready to fail and be humiliated for as long as it takes to come good. McLaren clearly isn't willing to do that. Unfortunately, that means that they'll be starting again from scratch.

I fear that they are going the way of BRM in the 3-liter era: A bridge too far with the hyper ambitious H-16 bleeding time and resources causing wounds from which they never recovered. I fear that McLaren may not recover from Ron Dennis' last throw of the dice.

Ricciardo Aficionado

It all depends on Ron's motivations.
Did he launch the Honda mission because of a bugbear with Merc or did he KNOW that a Merc customer team would never beat the works team?
He stated the latter but that could easily be cover for a personal grievance. If it was however his genuine opinion then I would trust it to based on a truth.
Whatever else he was, Ron was a racer. Unlike whoever is running these other midfield teams who seem to settle for existence as an end.
Zak Brown probably doesn't know whether or not Merc would let him win. Boullier just announced tenth would feel like a win. Alonso is going to leave if they can't win. Who's the racer in that equation? The one that's not going to hang around for a Merc customer engine.
It's Honda or bust for McLaren. I'd stick it out. I'd rather fail than settle.


A good question but not the same situation. RBR were complaining about Renault engines while still winning!!!

I dont know about anyone else but to me this seemed like trying to publicly force them to continue development by embarrassing them when they should have been praising them. while they were often slightly down on top speed, they were well up on corners (aero AND engine map for blown diffuser) not to mention the additional drag from the RBR supposedly amazign Aero....which probably was amazing but to have such a corner advantage had to be around more aero and thus more drag...

Mclaren on the other hand aren't finishing races, are getting slaughtered on the straights etc. So no, I dont think it is anywhere near the same. YMMV.

Slightly seperate note. I think Mclaren and Honda have a communication issue.

IF Mclaren do bail i believe the engine will come right...that just seems to be how the universe works...so i think Mclaren need to find a way to break the current stalemate without leaving Honda.

Would be a terrible waste for Mclaren to suddenly see Sauber reap all the benefits of the past 3 years! (though good for Sauber).


Perhaps because Horner was continually trashing Renault when Red Bull was WINNING, never mind when they were less competitive...


Alonso should switch to karting. I watched a couple of 2017 CIK FIA European championship karting races last night and what FANTASTIC racing!!! Blows away F1 in terms of action, drama and real racing. Cars are inches a part for nearly the whole race with lots of passing. 100mph in those tiny machines. Would much rather watch LH, KR, SV, FA, DR, MV and all the rest go heard to head in those things. Who needs 900HP turbo, hybrid, aero-cars when you can put everyone in identical and simple machinery and produce such thrilling high quality racing. I have sometimes heard the big names say that karting is better racing.


Alonso testing the upgraded MCL32...


What can any of us say that's not already been said?
It's a awful situation that is far more complicated that just saying Honda are s#!t. Which of course they are not.
Is it beyond Zack Brown to broker a deal for a Ferrari engine? A Renault engine? A Mercedes engine?
Probably not,but the fact is that whilst Honda are in F1 and supplying a PU then Mclaren have to use it. Simples.
I am a Mclaren fan through and through but sadly they just have to suck it up.
All the bla bla bla won't get them another PU but it will get someone else running the Honda side of things.
This is the really interesting question.
My pet hamster and his well oiled spinning wheel are available for a small share of Fernandos nacho fund.


I wouldn't put too much blame on Honda, but on rule changes. For 3 years we had the engine update token system, where no team had any chance to come even close to the Mercedes engine and therefore the result was 3 years of the most boring years in the history of F1. Therefore Honda shouldn't have entered in 2015. because the didn't stand a chance. To top it up there is no midseason testing, what means the teams have to use the race weekend for testing This was excused that they wanted to restrict costs, but at the same time they introduced the most expensive engines. Let teams test as much as they want, and we would have a more even field at the front and Rookies wouldn't have to learn in a race. F1 is supposed to be the pinacle of motorsport. and a school for Rookies.


Honda were exempt the token system.


maclaren management are clowns...they take ready made money from honda and pretend to be unhappy with honda's performance.
they had mercedes engines in 2013 and were still beaten by williams a much smaller team with a much smaller budget..
their current income is a lot higher than it was back in 2013 because they don't have to score points to enjoy those honda dollars..
if their standards were as high as they make out, they'd have found a solution to this problem...mario tyson has a solution..


In what parrallel universe did williams finish above mclaren in 2013!


draw a line along both sides of a ruler and you may find out..
ask maclaren how much they make from honda and you make just understand why they're sticking with honda..


FAlonso evilness has no boundaries!
Instead of just walking away from McRamen at the end of year - end of his personal contract - FAlonso wants McLaren to break its contract with Honda and cause a loss of more than 100 Millions per year !!! for the following 5 years !!!
FAlonso has such an expensive EGO.
Just walk away FAlonso and find your next Titanic xD
McLaren has a long mountain to climb with Honda, but they can do it just fine.
Their brand is strong and the road car business is doing fine.
The Honda deal is a bless in these years of economic uncertainty.
If McRamen deal is broken, McLaren will lose $100 Million plus play $20 M for Merc engines plus $30 M for FAlonso.
So its a $150 Million GAP for the 2018 Budget - without a title sponsor and bare naked car.
As it is now, McLaren has a nice cushion of $100M per year for the next 5 years.
McLaren should kick the serpent out of the paradise.
McRamen can do just fine until 2020, when the new F1 regs will come to fruition.
A contract break will only benefit FAlonso, and there are no guarantees.
Other Merc powered cars will also be strong in 2018.
FIndia is very competitive, WilliamsF1 will come stronger with Paddy Lowe's car and there is RedBull.
If I were Mansour Ojjedh I would just replace FAlonso by NRosberg and keep the half $Billion from Honda.


alonso is just pretending to be upset to attract more attention. he loves being paid more to drive around the back winning no points.. he's just pretending to bite the hand feeding him in order to get paid more to do the same thing..alonso will never walk away..he saw how button's money was progressively reduced and is fighting tooth and nail to prevent that from happening..

Ricciardo Aficionado

Just walk away FAlonso and find your next Titanic xD



You have no idea what you're talking about.
McLaren don't want free engines and $100m if that comes with being 10th in the championship. McLaren want to fight for wins. They would rather take a big hit financially and be at the front of the grid than have half their budget paid by Honda but fight for 14 and 15 on the grid.
You only think of the money. Same with Alonso...obviously you hate the guy and lose sleep over it, but McLaren want results and Alonso can deliver them. If you look in the races, Alonso goes backwards. He out-qualifies the car and then when the race starts he usually makes places up and then starts losing on the straights place after place.


why would maclaren stick with honda if they don't want that? other engine supply are willing to supply them with more competitive engines but the difference is, they'll have to pay for those engines, work hard to earn points in order to get paid..they opt to get paid first and then laze around pretending to prefer being competitive to being paid regardless. everyone goes to work to get paid but maclaren and alonso get paid to go to work..

Ricciardo Aficionado

They won't win with anyone else.


what will they win with honda?


"There is still a gap between us and our competitors"

I'm sorry Mr Hasegawa but I would not call that a gap. More like a Grand Canyon.


At the end of last season, the Honda engine seemed to be getting somewhere.

Unfortunately it seems their redesign for this year still isn't working.

What is equally disappointing is that McLaren are being so vocal- Alonso's deck chair antics were funny (ish) for a short while, fair play to Honda for risking the big come back but in the light of the current regs it's a lot of pain (look at Renault) before the reward.

I honestly hope Honda stick around long enough to win.

Michael Prestia

Why are they relying on other manufacturers?? Develop your own Engine and be a true manufacturer. Economically it will make sense as the technology they use in F1 can be transferred into McLaren's road cars.


Economically it makes zero sense to develop your own PU.


You can tell a poster doesn't really know what they are talking about whenever you read 'Mclaren should build their own engines'

If Honda and let's face it Renault can't do it - how is a company that doesn't manufacture engines for a living gonna do it? This generation of engines is way too complex.


McLaren is a large company and they manufacture road cars. If they can't build their own engine why would anyone want to purchase their cars? I get it the the engines are very different but the R&D that goes into an F1 engine can be utilized to build a better road engine. Makes sense for a true car manufacturer vs a drink company like red bull. Is McLaren a true manufacturer? Not until they build their own engine. Stop blaming Honda.


McLaren literally does manufacture engines for a living. Complex ones, too.


I think the problem for McLaren and Honda is there such a difference between their drivers. Alonso over performs the car, SV is prob a couple of tenths away from where it should be, but a second behind his team mate! Really unusual situation!

Tornillo Amarillo

They say : "Williams and Force India only received their updated power units in Montreal, whereas Mercedes got theirs two races earlier."

That's why F.India and Williams were so competitive!

"McLaren-ditch-Honda-engines-switch-Mercedes.html#ixzz4jpQXj8oT" *(DailyMail)

Tornillo Amarillo

James, so it's a fact, McLaren returns with Mercedes, but updates will be later on each time?


"Boullier brands Honda’s latest F1 failure at the Canadian GP ‘absolutely not good enough’ "

Master of the understatement!


Sounds like he was gonna say something much worse...... absolutely............... not good enough. Frustration turns to diplomacy in a second😄


the honda dollars are good enough though..


Honestly.... As this engine is not reliable..... Honda Should give up the Dino..... And bring the updated PU next race.... If it breaks it breaks. If it has 50hp more.... And lasts 10 laps.... Better than this and real scenario to work on reliability


McLaren is ramping up the public naming and shaming pressure because they want Honda to pull out of the contract I suspect rather than McLaren pulling out. It would be interesting to know what the contract says around termination and performance but one way or the other, McLaren has no choice but to change engine suppliers. I gather Mansour Ojjeh met with Dieter Zetsche in Monte and Toto in Montreal.


maclaren make money from honda and none from f1...they'll only ditch honda if they can make more from f1 than honda by going it alone..


Honda may get it right yet, when they introduce their revamped PU later this year (maybe?). But then again they might not. It's been two-and-a-half years, and they've only gone backwards (so far).

There are people who say, "oh, McLaren should stick around. Since Honda will eventually get it right." I ask, when??? 2019 or 2020? By then, F1 would already be preparing for another change in engine/PU regulations; which means McLaren would have wasted another 2 years toiling at the back (and losing credibility and money) for the possibility of very short-term success. Equally, will they have to go through the entire nightmare again since Honda will take so long to adapt/figure out the new engine rules come 2021?

It would be best for McLaren to renew their partnership (as a customer) with Mercedes, I think the Woking based team has enough depth to produce world beater chassis and in Fernando, a driver who is capable of finding and raising the limit. Both of which should be enough to overcome any disadvantages that come from being a non-works team.


James, what does this mean for Williams and Force India? These two teams have been significant partners in the Mercedes hybrid engine program. I am sure they have provided Mercedes with data that has helped make that Mercedes powertrain better. In addition, Claire Williams even gave her own driver early leave from his contract to bail out Mercedes when Nico retired and Force India is giving Esteban Ocon (a Mercedes junior driver) an apprenticeship. What happens in 2018 when they are pushed down the wcc ranks (and thus lose precious cash) because Toto Wolff volunteered to rescue Mclaren from a self created blunder? How does Toto Wolff square that piece of betrayal with his two current partners?


Willd doesn't want to do McLaren deal

It's higher up


WOW! Could there be some truth to the rumours Mercedes is looking for a way out of F1 as a team! Has the high cost of F1 finally got to Dr. Z?


is that your wish?


I do not think this is illogical as it looks on the surface.
Mercedes have no driver contracts beyond end of 2018 season. I also assume no engine partners beyond 2020 (since new engine formula is expected). Petronas is a state owned oil company and the government of Malaysia is pulling out of F1. It would not be out of the question for the Chairman of Mercedes to look at the long term landscape of f1 and realise that he could spread his risk by rebuilding the old McLaren-Mercedes F1 partnership.


why would mercedes want to leave f1 now that they sell more cars than they have ever done in the history of car sales?
if anything, unsuccessful teams should seek the exit door handles, not the victors..


The FIA and the Brawn Brigade as well?


I don't see a bunch of engine manufacturers busting their asses to get into F1. In the not so distant past BMW built great turbo charged F1 engines, they don't seem the slightest bit interested. Ditto Porsche, also great F1 turbo engine builders, not a word out of them. Even Ford via Cosworth had a pretty decent turbo charged F1 engine. Alfa Romeo was another. Even the other speciality race engine guys, like Motori Moderni and Zakspeed. Seems like no one is jumping out of their skin to be involved.

Undeniably the problem is that the current engine package is simply far too complex and expensive for most of the world's best engine manufacturers to even contemplate. They are realistically looking at 5 or more years of pain developing their own package at what must be huge cost, $billions surely. For that period they get slagged at by all and sundry, for being hopeless. Does anyone really think that the others aren't looking at how Renault was treated and now Honda? The shear complexity and the regulations driven need to do it in the face of full media and public scrutiny, the humiliation is just too painful to contemplate.


Well said, painful indeed to see Honda's humiliation. And this for a nation so unique like Japan. It is just too much. Alonso presence may add up more salt to the wound, his high profile and persona stir things up. I think James deal mentioned above may be the best one, white label MB unit, then back on business when Honda power unit is trouble free.


Alonso shd quit. he will not be missed if still in bogus non-competitive PU one more year. Mclaren and Honda can use that money for development purpose.


McLaren are really in a fix. They took a calculated gamble 3 years ago to take on Honda as their works partner - AND main sponsor. So, can they afford to let their main sponsor ago - especially considering their dearth of other major sponsors right now. If they stay with Honda they remain financially viable - if they split, they risk having an insufficient budget.

If they stay with Honda they risk losing any remaining credibility - and their few external sponsors - and cannot budget any significant prize money.

I do not believe Honda are capable of building a race winning engine, so I think McLaren should split, and hope to rebuild over the coming years - they risk going the way of Brabham, Tyrrell et al - but I see no other way. Tense times no doubt for them - and their fans.


un grand prix plein de promesse
excellent moment


James - There is a lot of rumours on the internet that McLaren has either already decided to ditch Honda or just about to do it and go with Merc engines...Surely if anyone is going to know whether there is any truth in these rumours it is you??


I really want the Honda-McLaren partnership to succeed as it would a waste if Honda pulls the pin after next year.

We need more engine manufacturers. Hopefully Brawn can bring about a change come 2020 and maybe Audi may get into the mix finally with Red Bull.

Torchwood Mobile

Seeing Hasegawa San's statement about getting the PU back to the factory, made me want someone to stage an intervention and re-direct it to Mercedes or a McLaren room where non-Honda people can strip the thing down, note any obvious weaknesses, then return it to Honda with a list of things to try.


I am puzzled as to why McLaren ever thought that Honda would be any better than their previous stint in F1 with B.A.R and own works team.


Apparently its all Alonso's fault again! Taking a long hard look at this and you can reason that he gets so much flak because he is such a threat to fans personal favourite in any other team. Kimi could be out next year and any Rosberg comeback scuppered and all because Alonso is a miles better driver than both of them put together lol.


This isn't Honda's fault. This is the direct fault of Todt and the FIA mandating the use of this patently ridiculous engine formula in F1 cars. It's just plain nuts. Honda should have just pulled out ages ago, leaving 18 cars on the grid.
It's not just Honda - there's only 6 cars at most, capable of winning a race. At some point the fed up fan base is going to realize their ticket only gets them in to see the first corner crash, and the next hour and a half is simply all about watching 2/3 of the field get lapped.
This isn't Honda's problem. Honda should pull the plug on F1 right now.


I'm intrigued by the concern for McLarens finances. They can afford to pay any amount if they want to win. If they can't they need to quit F1.

Also, if they did have a title sponsor this year they would be getting great media coverage. more so than the four faster teams ahead of them on the grid ...


@James Allen Did you hear anything about a engine deal between McLaren and Mercedes?


I am actually surprised that James Allen did not write in this article about that McLaren main shareholder and board member Mansour Ojjeh was attending the race in Montréal !?! He rarely ever goes to any race at all !
And that Ojjeh this last weekend even met with Wolff and Lauda in 'a private setting'. To me that are all strong signs that an engine deal has been reached and ready to be signed between the parties.

McLaren are typically very measured in their announcements to the press, but here in last days up to the Canada race several of their key staff profiles have come out with very vocal negative comments on Honda and their lack of delivery. As e.g. latest from Eric Boullier when the engine once again let team and Alonso down. Don't think McLaren would have done that (severely non-PC) if it wasn't because they already had given up on the Honda package and found its replacement.


I have mentioned elsewhere that Ojjeh has been busy behind the scenes on this

His work was done with Daimler boss Zetsche, as Wolff and Lauda are not keen on the idea.

Ojjeh was in Monaco and Montreal -and also Indy. He has not been well previously but seemed ok in Montreal


Honda is not capable of making a winning f1 engine anymore , They do not seem to have the engineering talent anymore as well , Just look at there recent new for 2017 superbike Fireblade disaster , They cannot win as they are . Mclaren should of bought Manor and used that as a test team or Honda should have bought Manor , Its so comical you could give that much money to kids in supermarket car parks who could do a better job or better still for Honda to swallow its pride and bring in Cosworth because Honda on its own will never at this level of competition win a competitive race .


McLaren, like Redbull, have a very good car capable of winning/scoring podiums. Only a proper engine is lacking. Wolff and Lauda probably feel the same way and that's why they are not happy with a McLaren engine deal. Ferrari same story. I don't think McLaren will settle with a B spec engine so 3 choices left; Keep Honda and hope for the best, switch to Renault or last switch to Renault for a couple of years and in the meantime start developing your own engines. It's the hard way, but when you're serious about competing in F1 and you wanna win championchips in the end it's the best way.

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