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McLaren prepared to give Honda time but want competitive 2018 engine

  • Published on 10 Jul 2017 10:06
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

McLaren is willing to give Honda time to sort its issues but is adamant that it wants a fast engine for the 2018 season. The McLaren-Honda partnership has taken a turn for the worst in 2017, with the pair on the verge of divorce.

In Austria, things did not look so doom and gloom for the team, as both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne made it out of Q1 and lined up P12 and P13. The result came rather unexpectedly, as Speilberg is very much a power sensitive track.

"It's still very much a work in progress," said Zak Brown. "We need to figure out our relationship with them moving forward, soon. You start getting in to next year's car (design) in the next few months and what we have to have is a competitive engine for next year.

"They're working hard on it and doing some things that are for them to speak about to make those improvements. So we want to give them as much runway as possible to get there."

With the mid-way point of the season creeping up, McLaren sits bottom of the standings with two points to its name, coming from Alonso is Baku. The team has been linked with a switch back to Mercedes power for next season, and return to Honda when they become competitive.

 

Fergal Walsh

Replies (6)

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  • Also read as "McLaren have sniffed about and there's no good deals, so they might just have to suck it up and wait it out for Honda....."

    • + 1
    • Jul 10 2017 - 10:22
  • If Merc don't want to supply, this is bad news for them....I think Honda are a lost cause, as they won't agree to buy in the talent needed, because the Japs think they know it all....

    • + 0
    • Jul 10 2017 - 10:31
    • jimac

      Posts: 30

      I understand exactly why you think that.

      I couldn't possibly confirm or deny that there has been some powertrain related hiring go on at McLaren.
      Neither confirm or deny that the staff in question came from a high performance engineering company with a swanky office located in Brixworth who were fairly instrumental in the hybrid development projectfor the last 9 years).

      Also, I cannot confirm or deny that the staff in question have been travelling to Japan recently. ;)

      Whether Honda happen to actually use this resource is another matter.....

      • + 0
      • Jul 10 2017 - 12:52
    • Barron

      Posts: 625

      Don't believe everything you read (actually, don't believe ANYTHING you read and only half what you see!) Mario Ilien (Ilmor) has been assisting Honda for quite sometime now and there may be others. It's not that the Japanese think they know it all, they drive themselves hard to attain knowledge without slavishly copying others. This is both their greatest strength and perhaps a significant weakness. However, they have an immense amount of pride in what they do and it's something we could do with improving on here in UK Ltd.

      • + 1
      • Jul 10 2017 - 14:28
    • Yes, they have been working with Ilmor since last year, and since Hasegawa took position he has increased the workforce for the F1 project. I like and admire their attitude of trying to go their own way, even if I wish they were perhaps copying others a bit more to gain some performance faster.

      • + 0
      • Jul 10 2017 - 18:10
  • Pretty much saw this coming. McLaren do likely not want to stay with Mercedes if they have another option, that'd be a defeat for them. They want to be a Works team, and they dont want to have to go back fulltime to something they left behind. Leaving Honda will mean that Honda have less data to gather, and McLaren will have less of an input in what direction Honda should take the development into.

    My take on Honda's situation is that this will likely be the 2015-2016 seasons over again: an unstable 2017 followed by a more competitive 2018. This year, they laid the foundation for their 2018 engine, now they will "just" have to upgrade it. Only real difference is that the improvements they could do before and during 2016 were limited, due to the design of the ICE and turbo. This is not the case this year. Im not sure if they will be competitive, but I think they will improve.

    • + 0
    • Jul 10 2017 - 18:17

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