Mansour Ojjeh says McLaren and Honda are working feverishly to get out of a "crisis", because either side "cannot continue like this". Ojjeh is a major, long-time and normally low-profile shareholder of the once-great British team, but he was in Bahrain last weekend and not shy to let his opinion be known about the current McLaren-Honda situation.
"The disappointment is huge, even for Honda," he told the French magazine Auto Hebdo. "We were promised a lot and are the first ones to be disappointed to offer so little. They (Honda) have given their mea culpa, but that doesn't make us look better," he added.
The very latest rumour is that McLaren is drafting in the services of Mercedes, to collaborate with Honda on rapidly improving its dire 2017 power unit. "We work on different scenarios, of which I cannot speak right now," Ojjeh said. "But we are spending a lot of time and energy and meetings on finding a solution. And fast. We have a culture of victory and we cannot continue like this."
Ojjeh also referred to reports that, after the Indy 500 this year, the next challenge for Fernando Alonso to take on will be winning the fabled Le Mans 24 hour. "Fernando is a great driver who has suffered for two years," he said.
"He wants the triple crown. I told him that he is crazy to go to Indianapolis, but we spoke to Juan Pablo Montoya who told us not to worry, that he will adapt easily. Fernando also wants to win Le Mans. In a personal capacity I would very much like McLaren to return to Le Mans, but Fernando wants to do it in LMP1. For the moment the priority is a good engine in F1," Ojjeh added. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing