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McLaren shareholder: "It can't continue like this"

  • Published on 18 Apr 2017 11:25
  • comments 7
  • By: Rob Veenstra

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)

Replies (7)

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  • Vet5

    Posts: 225

    Mercedes will not give their services to Honda, and Honda will not take the service even if it were offered. Honda dug a big hole for themselves when they said they thought the Honda 2017 engine was too easy when being completed.

    • + 0
    • Apr 18 2017 - 11:31
    • Why not? Mercedes already helped Renault during their worst period, wouldnt surprise me if they'd help Honda aswell.

      • + 0
      • Apr 18 2017 - 14:13
    • Vet5

      Posts: 225

      I just don't see it happening, just my opinion, but i must admit i didnt have a clue they helped Renault

      • + 0
      • Apr 18 2017 - 15:12
  • ruestchiva

    Posts: 20

    This is going beyond pathetic. Their hole is too big and too deep to get out by themselves. McLaren will have to switch engine supplier eventually.

    • + 0
    • Apr 18 2017 - 18:45
  • Harryw

    Posts: 107

    With mclaren now rivalling ferrari in road cars why not build their own engine long term? They have talent.

    • + 0
    • Apr 18 2017 - 20:45
    • In building cars? Yes. In designing engines, not to mention F1 engines? No. Even the current McLaren Power Units are based on designs made by others (the ICE in the McLaren MP4-12C, P1 and many others are of a Nissan design), and they lack the facilities to build F1-engines as of now.

      To build F1 level engines, McLaren would need to make a huge investment, one they might not afford as of present, at least not their F1 component. And if they did build a PU, they would probably have to experience the whole McLaren-Honda problems all over again, maybe even worse, seeing as they'd literally start from zero, and they would have to focus on engine and chassis at the same time. The partnership with Honda doesnt seem to work, but at least Honda keeps them floating with decent sums of cash, McLaren wouldnt have those if they went in alone.

      The reason Ferrari can design their own F1-PUs is because they've been doing this for years. They already have the know-how, they have the facilities, the competence, the money, and they have already had severe down-periods, and survived and learned from them.

      This is my take on it. Not sure how accurate it is, but I think I made one or two decent points.

      • + 0
      • Apr 18 2017 - 23:04
  • mbmwe36

    Posts: 533

    You can't put a price on the entertainment value of the McHonda partnership! May it never end!

    • + 0
    • Apr 18 2017 - 22:44

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