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."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing