Shady times for McLaren, and unfortunately and not news. The team has not lifted its head since the hybrid era of Formula 1 began. After a first year with power unit Mercedes or Ferrari, the driver that offered the most performance, they became the team that had worse results, when they decided to change the Relationship with Mercedes or Ferrari by Honda, who wanted to return to Formula 1.
Mercedes Vs Ferrari
The agreement with Honda was highly beneficial to McLaren. The team went from paying an engine supplier to having an entire factory working for them, a factory that not only did not charge for the engines, paid the equipment, but also took over much of the budget. This solved the life of the team, who not only could sign two world champions like Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button as pilots but also could forget the cumbersome task of finding a sponsor.
Unfortunately, another of the fundamental parts failed; Performance. From Honda they were expected to arrive with their homework done, with a more than proven engine that would be able to stand up to the powerful Mercedes or Ferrari. However, a first day in which they were not even able to get the car on track was premonitory of everything that would come later. Beyond performance, which was not good, the Honda power unit was endless reliability problems. The more problems, the fewer kilometers, the less data obtained, the more difficulty to progress.
There was a lot of talk about the token system that only allowed you to make small modifications to the engine, which was theoretically a limitation for Honda to gain power to a propeller that was not equal to the rivals. But by 2017, such a system was abolished and motorists had the opportunity to reinvent themselves. After two years full of problems, solutions were expected from Honda.
Some engineers do not explain the famous failure of the oil tank, as it is a failure that already suffered the vehicles of competition decades ago, where for example a continued passage by the famous curve of the Raidillon ended up costing breaks, but at the same time, a failure Thousand times solved. The 2017 preseason tests have ended with a disastrous result for McLaren Honda, where the most hurtful question was whether they were going to be able to drive the car in the first race of the year.
From Honda they have stated not to be worried about the small problems of reliability, because they will apply solutions that already know. Yes they have been shown more worried however by the lack of power of the new motor. They have not given the expected performance, have not reached the level of Mercedes or Ferrari in 2016 and in addition the rest of rivals has given a jump of quality, increasing the distance.
The most pessimistic ones already give the season for lost, because in spite of having a relative evolution free for the motors also exists a strong restriction of motors to the year, which probably ends up signifying a high number of sanctions throughout the year. And above all, there is no confidence that Honda will fix during the season what it has not been able to do in just over three years. The situation becomes even more delicate if one thinks that the team’s star driver, Fernando Alonso, finishes his contract after the current season, and since the British team there is nothing to be accepted to try to convince the Asturian to remain with them.
Or maybe yes. And it is that from the same moment that the motor Honda began the season, of little luck way, different rumors grew. Soon there were rumors of a change of engine for a Renault power unit, rumors that were branded false by the McLaren team. Now, it is the turn of the Mercedes or Ferrari engines, which this season provide a team less than last season after the closing of Manor.
However, and although the amateur may be eager for a change, this becomes highly complicated, as it would involve a redesign of vehicle, something that cannot be done overnight, let alone with a commitment to competitiveness. And above all, it becomes almost impossible if you think about the economic implications that would be hurting, because as discussed previously would again be charged for the engines to pay, beyond the economic compensation that would have to face the unilateral breach Of contract.
After all, this is a team that has not had a strong sponsor for years, and beyond wanting, maybe not even being able to afford something like that. Nor does the figure of a boss “fed up” with the situation, as the board decided to reveal Ron Dennis and his successor, Zak Brown seems to have, at least for the moment, enough patience.
Something more feasible would be that Honda, after a new failure, decided to leave Formula 1 at the end of this season, at which point McLaren should look for a new driver. If the British team does not reach an agreement with any motorist, the FIA provided an equation whereby a motorist would be obliged to supply any equipment, and given that the three remaining motorists supply three teams, one could see something As curious as a Mclaren Ferrari Vs Mercedes. Time will tell.