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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.”

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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.


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 .


@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


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 …


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.


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.


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.

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 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.


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??


un grand prix plein de promesse
excellent moment


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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..


“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

Tornillo Amarillo

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

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)


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!

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.


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.


“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.


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?

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