Hartley to McLaren: Dumping Honda was a mistake

  • 27 Feb 2018 10:03
  • comments 21
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Brendon Hartley thinks McLaren dumping Honda at the end of last year was "a mistake". The Woking-based squad decided to part ways with Honda after three years had brought them disappointing results. Honda switched to Toro Rosso and had a smooth day of running on Monday.

"I think they've made a mistake," the New Zealander told Marca sports newspaper on Monday. "The engine is very driveable and I have more power than last year," he added.

Hartley had just tested Toro Rosso's newly Honda-powered 2018 car in Barcelona, and team boss Franz Tost also sounded positive: "Honda developed at the end of last year and the trend is still the same," he said.

McLaren endured an abysmal three years with Honda and have switched to customer Renault power for 2018. But Tost thinks Toro Rosso can target the top of the midfield this year with Honda.

"We have big medium and long term plans with Honda," he said. "I always say the first three positions are gone in the championship, but everything is possible in the fight for fourth place."

As for the new Honda relationship, Tost said everything is going well: "We are pleased with the progress in reliability and performance," he said. "Working with Honda opens up access to vast resources and we are already benefitting from that."

On the other side of the coin, McLaren had a high-profile mishap as its 2018 winter season began when a wheel fell off Fernando Alonso's orange car on Monday: "I'm happy for you," the Spaniard laughed to reporters. "It's a good story."

Indeed, he said it was only a minor issue and that everything is going well with the car and new Renault engine. As for Tost saying he predicts a trouble-free season with Honda, McLaren executive Zak Brown smiled: "I don't think there's a team in the pitlane that will not have some trouble.

"Looking back over the past few years, a problem-free year is virtually impossible. We wish Honda and Toro Rosso all the very, but we're focusing on our programme. And we're very satisfied with our progress," Brown added.

He also applauded the FIA's clarification that engine suppliers need to provide their customers with identical equipment, even in the area of software: "We have always been calm about Renault giving its customers equality," Brown said. "It was never a concern, but I'm glad that the FIA has clarified it."

Replies (21)

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  • All the very?

    Well, only one way to find out. I hope he id right.

    • + 0
    • Feb 27 2018 - 12:02
  • xoya

    Posts: 296

    I think so too. They should've persisted.
    That way they would still be a works team which would pay off at some point; this way they got to keep a driver who is on his way out anyway in 2 years at the most.
    Of course, it remains to be seen...
    Here's hoping I eat my words.

    • + 0
    • Feb 27 2018 - 12:08
  • RS200

    Posts: 26

    Well it seems like Hartley is a liar. No way has the Honda got more power than last years Renault. If you look at the speed traps it seems STR are running a low downforce setup. Reliability seems ok for now in these cold conditions.

    • + 0
    • Feb 27 2018 - 15:01
    • try on

      Posts: 1

      Today in these cold condition, MCL has occurred over heating...

      • + 0
      • Feb 27 2018 - 18:26
    • @TRY ON: anything can overheat if ducts doesnt work properly, even in cold weather. But I think its more down to early grinding issues. So not representative. But, one can hope. ;3

      @RS200 having more power than last year's Renault is no feat, in fact they were supposedly pretty close at the end of the year. The real question is if they've done something better than Renault this year. Thats what counts. And we wont see that until the season starts, methinks.

      • + 0
      • Feb 27 2018 - 22:12
  • Oh please. This is total bullshit. I mean maybe the engine will be great, but to suggest that after 1 day of testing... I guess it's F1 pastime to hate on McLaren. That's ok. Let both of them do the talking on track

    • + 0
    • Feb 27 2018 - 15:52
    • RS200

      Posts: 26

      Agreed. Hartley is already delusional.

      • + 0
      • Feb 27 2018 - 16:09
    • Well, I have good news to you. Its now 2 days of testing, without any complications! Tada! Huge difference. But honestly, the way McLaren has hyped things up year after year doesnt exactly inspire much trust in them.

      • + 0
      • Feb 27 2018 - 19:24
  • Bhurt

    Posts: 320

    Alonso's track record suggests Honda is on the verge of greatness.

    Seriously though, two days into testing Toro Rosso sit third in # of laps run, having run twice as many laps as McLaren.

    As for references to top speed and lap times, do you seriously think anyone has run a lap that is even slightly representative of their potential? Two days into testing they're still just starting to learn the cars. We wont see representative lap times until the next week of testing.

    • + 0
    • Feb 27 2018 - 18:15
    • That is promising, but is it representative, and will Honda improve on the unit further before the launch? I sure hope so.

      • + 0
      • Feb 27 2018 - 19:25
  • mcbhargav

    Posts: 845

    I dont think, McLaren would have won a race with this Honda Engine. Its a vanity talk from a new guy.

    • + 1
    • Feb 27 2018 - 18:46
    • Won races? Probably not, but I doubt they will with Renault anyway. I dont like the thought of it, but I think we could be seeing a Williams 2.0 here.

      • + 0
      • Feb 27 2018 - 19:25
  • Anyone drawing conclusions from 2 days of testing in freezing whether is an absolute fool.

    • + 0
    • Feb 27 2018 - 18:55
    • The absolute fool is the one ready to dismiss the results of two days. Any data is better than no data. But I do agree that its too early to say anything, especially in these not very representative conditions. But it looks good.

      • + 0
      • Feb 27 2018 - 19:27
  • kngrthr

    Posts: 198

    mclaren made the right decision.
    honda might improve this year but no way will they be a race winning engine yet.
    so that means next year; maybe...
    that would mean half a decade of nothing for mclaren.

    • + 1
    • Feb 27 2018 - 19:42
  • RS200

    Posts: 26

    @CALLE.ITW Troll.

    Honda were, and still are delusional about their position this year. Blatant lies which has rubbed off on STR.

    No Honda didn't have nearly as much power as Renault last year and no they don't have more power than Renault had last season.

    All the teams have concentrated on reliability because of the 3 engine rule so the chances of Honda finding more power and reliability are non existent. It isn't even a new engine they are using.

    Now I must remember not to feed the trolls. Lot of them on this site.

    • + 0
    • Feb 28 2018 - 12:32
    • Me? A troll? Amusing! Just for you, I will change my avatar to a troll for just this week!

      If you've actually listened to them, they are pretty darn aware of their current position. They know they need to step it up. Can they? I think so. We'll see. I would personally love it if they beat Renault, but I dont expect them to. As for it being "impossible" for Honda to find reliability AND power: No. I mean it is both figuratively speaking and literally speaking very possible to find both at the same time. 'sides, having more reliability means that you can be on higher power settings more frequently.

      I think we have pretty different definitions of trolls, mate. If Im a troll, you should see that toxic pit that is 9Gag. And I dont really think there are plenty of us "trolls" here. But by all means feed me, Im hungry, and cooking after work is a drag. :)

      • + 1
      • Feb 28 2018 - 16:49
    • @RS200 You calling people a troll is ironic

      • + 0
      • Feb 28 2018 - 18:38
    • RS200

      Posts: 26

      He lied end of. Continue trolling, it's what you do.

      • + 0
      • Mar 1 2018 - 13:09
    • How did I lie? Because my opinion differed from your opinion?

      • + 0
      • Mar 1 2018 - 15:29
    • I have reread my comments, and as far as I can see, nothing was especially trolly or necessarily incorrect. Just opinions. Was I perhaps unclear?

      • + 0
      • Mar 1 2018 - 15:34

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