McLaren Found it Hard to Adapt to Change — Honda

Paola Ditto
Settembre 21, 2017

The news recently came out that McLaren and Honda would split ways at the end of the 2017 Formula One season and already the agreement is beginning to sound like a bad breakup.

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has criticised Honda for its efforts during its three years as engine partners by calling it "a proper disaster" and ultimately knew the team had to move on at pre-season testing.

McLaren, who were dominant with Honda in the late 1980s and early 1990s, are now ninth of 10 teams in the championship and have not won a race since 2012, when they had Mercedes power. "And then you have to take the long-term view: in the next five years I am absolutely sure that we will go back to where McLaren belongs".

McLaren has had plenty to say about Honda throughout the last three years and now Honda is saying it is optimistically looking forward to its new partnership with Toro Rosso, in part because it is unlike McLaren, a "systemic" company that struggled to adapt to change.

"And with this bouncing back we get our credibility back and it will rebuild our sponsor portfolio".

"If we compare both teams with different cuisines, let's say McLaren is a very sophisticated French cuisine, that's the way it is". We are ninth in the championship - with a top engine I think we would be fourth right now and just on the FOM money we could cover the engine side, so it will not be a big risk on the monetary side. Thanks to the shareholders who have been fearless enough to take a sporting choice and not hurt McLaren.

Yamamoto said Honda would have preferred to stay with McLaren but recognised they had not been able to reach performance and reliability targets set by the team.

"This created tension between us and unfortunately separation was the result". On paper everything looked right. Luckily we managed to make it an amicable settlement and they understood that all the investment that they have made, they should get a reward from that at some stage.

"I am so glad that they have chose to stay in Formula 1 and commit to another team. Personally I feel a bit sad that it didn't work, but these have been very intense three years".

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