Honda forced SPM and McLaren into Chevrolet switch

  • Published on 14 Aug 2019 13:54
  • 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Co-owner of the Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) team Sam Schmidt says it was Honda's decision to end its ties with the team.

Next year, the SPM team will join forces with McLaren and will be named McLaren Arrow SP, running Chevrolet engines rather than Honda units, despite the long partnership between SPM and Honda. 

Schmidt says it was a "no-brainer" to stick with the Japanese manufacturer, but it was ultimately not his decision.

“It was an extremely difficult decision because there is that loyalty,” Schmidt said. "There is that length of time and a lot of success, and at the end of the day, they (Honda) are a great motorsports and OEM operator.

“When they aren’t winning, they do everything possible to win, so we wanted to stay in that camp. When you draw the line down the centre of the paper and you put your pros and cons on each side, that was definitely a big negative to doing this deal.

"On the other side of the page, there was so many positives that it really was a no-brainer. At the end of the day, it’s just unfortunate but it’s ultimately their decision.”

It is not yet known who will form its line-up next year, with Schmidt insisting that priority was placed on making the announcement public before seeing what options it has available for next year.

"It’s a big decision, so between ourselves and Arrow and McLaren, there’s a lot of great minds there with years of experience,” Schmidt said.

“The first goal was to get past the announcement last week, and then as Zak said, see how the phones light up and then make that list, and then reconvene later this week and start making some of those decisions and offers and whatnot.

“Stay tuned, but it will be a few weeks before we make any announcements.”

Replies (3)

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  • Kean

    Posts: 692

    Honda are acting quite childish in my opinion. In hindsight we know that the reason McLaren-Honda performed so bad was not only due to Honda, McLaren did have a bad chassis and an organisation that was unable to see it. But the PU was so bad, it was terrible really, it masked McLarens shortcomings in some ways. The PU kept breaking down, it vibrated into pieces. And when it worked it wasn't powerful. In my opinion Honda deserved to be called out for their failure and unkept promises to McLaren. Now that they're doing well (and good for them) it seems almost that they want to lay the blame on McLaren. All this "never gonna work with McLaren again" just shows Honda's inability to own up to their own mistakes. McLaren has come clean and said that they had a bad car and didn't realize it at the time. It's time for Honda to just say "yeah, we deserved to be criticized, the PU sucked". It all worked out well in the end for Honda. Just bury the hatchet and move on.

    • + 2
    • Aug 14 2019 - 14:38
  • Kean

    Posts: 692

    Been trying to catch up on the silly season in Indy. From what I gather we could see Filipe Nasr and Patricio O'Ward in the Arrow McLaren. If they snatch O'Ward from Marko's clutches it will make me smile. Perhaps they're targeting Nasr because of McLarens Petrobras connection (and I believe he's been successful in IMSA). It's off to Dale Coyne, Rahal Letterman or Harding Steinbrenner for Marcus Ericsson and Hinchcliffe.

    • + 2
    • Aug 14 2019 - 14:47
  • I'd agree it is a bit childish, but this is unfortunately pretty standard stuff from companies involved in motorsport. Doesn't mean I like it, especially not when it's my favourite supplier doing it, just disappointed they join in on the fecal frenzy. :/

    • + 3
    • Aug 14 2019 - 21:59

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