Former F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, has predicted that McLaren's imminent switch to Renault engines will not make them any happier than they were with Honda. Honda have failed to power McLaren to anywhere near the success that the team wanted, with the best result they have achieved in two and a half years three paltry fifth places in what has been the teams longest stretch without a podium.
However with the switch to Renault engines it is expected that they will at least be semi competitive again, with the aim probably being to be at the top of the midfield at least, and challenging the likes of Red Bull for third place in the constructors table and the occasional podium and even win in odd circumstances such as Daniel Ricciardo's win in Baku earlier this year.
It is also expected that the Renault switch will see the team's star driver and two time world champion Fernando Alonso stay with the team, after struggling through three uncompetitive years with Honda power. It has been rumoured that Alonso issued the ultimatum of either he goes or Honda goes, something that he staunchly denies.
However Ecclestone's claims could be a painful truth for the Woking outfit, having swapped the 4th best engine in F1 for the 3rd best. The Renault engine although clearly not as bad as Honda's attempt is estimated to be some way off the likes of the Mercedes and Ferrari engines, with it being estimated to be roughly 30BHP down on the two front runners, and clearly having much worse reliabilty, with 105 places of engine penalties this season compared to Ferrari and mercedes' zero.
Ecclestone said this on the matter of the very probable move: "The Renault deal is all done. Alonso staying is super news, but I can't see why McLaren will be any happier with Renault than they are with Honda. It wasn't Honda's fault things didn't work out, it was McLaren's. Every day they had a fight about everything, instead of working with them, which was a little bit stupid."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing