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Boullier: "McLaren offered Honda sabbatical option"

  • Published on 22 Sep 2017 14:38
  • comments 12
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Honda rejected a proposal whereby it would take a "sabbatical" and return to McLaren at a later date. It emerged in Singapore that the two sides have definitely split, with Honda staying in F1 only by teaming up with Toro Rosso next year. But team boss Eric Boullier told the French magazine Auto Hebdo that McLaren tried to find other solutions.

"At the first tests of 2017 we realised serious problems were waiting for us," he said. "We began to get nervous and started looking for solutions that could improve the situation. As a last resort, we were ready to offer that Honda skips the season while it improves and McLaren would use some other engines for that period."

But Boullier said other "easier" options were explored as well. For instance, "Honda engineers and their colleagues from Mercedes could do a technical cooperation," he revealed. "Or forming our own group of specialists in the engine area made up of different companies to help Honda find more efficient solutions more quickly. Unfortunately, none of the proposals were properly explored and as a result we ran out of arguments. We had to come to the conclusion that there was no other way out except for the termination of the cooperation," Boullier said.

McLaren will use customer Renault engines from next year. (GMM)

Replies (12)

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  • A bit weird for Honda to not accept that offer, since they apparently want to be with McLaren, but I can understand it. Basically, what McLaren did was to say "So Honda, sorry but I have a new boyfriend. He is like really nice and really good in bed, so we're over, but you can have my sister, and if it turns out that you've improved your skills then I'll dump him and get back with you".

    • + 0
    • Sep 22 2017 - 15:22
    • mbmwe36

      Posts: 533

      They didn't even offer a sister! When I read the headline, my train of thought was basically the same as yours. With McLaren saying to the wife: So yeah, I've noticed you're not really in shape, so I'm kicking you out and f*cking the maid for the next year, and then we'll take from there.
      Wonder why Honda didn't bite

      • + 0
      • Sep 22 2017 - 16:04
    • True. more like that cousin who gives all her best toys away to others. I think its in part, as some say, due to pride, but then again its sort of rational to stay away from a partner that badmouths you.

      • + 0
      • Sep 22 2017 - 19:12
  • Japanese pride. Honda pride. I'm certain it was one of those cultural Japanese things about honor and pride

    • + 0
    • Sep 22 2017 - 16:38
    • f1ski

      Posts: 668

      Perhaps some French arrogance

      • + 0
      • Sep 22 2017 - 17:06
  • f1ski

    Posts: 668

    Funny how the honda execs made the analogy of McLaren being like fine french cuisine. Boullier was never successful with Renault/Lotus and my feeling is th McLaren will not be successful oil he leaves. I find it mind boggling that honda couldnt make a power plant that was track worthy with telemetry data when McLaren were with mercedes. At least you could surmise the torque and horsepower needed.

    • + 0
    • Sep 22 2017 - 17:06
    • mbmwe36

      Posts: 533

      Yes, I've been wondering about this for years. McLaren should pretty much know how powerful their mercedes engines were. What's even weirder is, I remember Honda (and possibly McLaren) talking about how powerful their engine would be, and basically put everybody on notice.
      I just can't see how Mercedes and Ferrari each found between 70-100 bhp during the winter break. So I guess no matter what, McLaren didn't do their homework.

      • + 0
      • Sep 22 2017 - 17:40
    • Arai and Dennis were never a good thing for this partnership. If anything damaged this deal, it was their talks about how good it was before anyone knew anything, setting sky high hype and frotting fanboys (including me, sadly) up to maddening levels. It would've been better if Honda had entered with a more low profile team, and probably waiting until 2016. And Honda should've prepared better before entering, their workforce as of now is significantly bigger than when they entered, but to have that in 2016 is a bit of a late call. As for telemetry from Mercedes: Im not sure how much McLaren is allowed to share regarding that. Its F1 we speak about, so it wouldnt surprise me if even simpler details were guarded and hoarded by Mercedes as a dragon guards a treasure pile.

      • + 0
      • Sep 22 2017 - 19:18
    • kngrthr

      Posts: 203

      yeah, you can work out power just by looking at the acceleration graphs. which you can also get from the rpm curves as the car the car accelerates.
      it takes a certain amount of power (ie energy per unit time) to accellerate a given mass at a given rate.
      Mclaren would have all that info.
      i agree honda should have waited another year.
      if you are not actually in F1 yet, you can test as much as you like. they could have spent a year 24 hours a day.
      i think they and Mclaren thought honda knew what they were doing

      • + 1
      • Sep 22 2017 - 22:35
    • I blame McLaren for their underperformance in 2013, 2014 with Mercedes engines. 2015 and onwards... It's the engine. You gotta remember how long it took for Mercedes to be truly competitive. Toyota poured unlimited resources into the team and had little to show for it. Honda failed miserably with its works team a little over a decade ago. BMW is the only new engine that has actually made and impact. I am not surprised Honda was not good enough after three years. But I am surprised by the lack of progress and the abysmal performance differential

      • + 0
      • Sep 23 2017 - 00:23
  • Honda F1 dept is steaming pile of shit, this shows why. No more talking they are trashed out. Good riddance to the Japanese horseshit. They can shove their pride up their arseholes.

    • + 1
    • Sep 22 2017 - 18:12
    • Bhurt

      Posts: 320

      They'll be pretty proud when Toro Rosso beats McLaren next year.

      • + 1
      • Sep 24 2017 - 15:10

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