Connect with us

F1 top news

Why McLaren should not ditch Honda

Published

on

There are rumours in the Formula 1 paddock that the McLaren-Honda partnership could soon come to an end. It would be a big move considering the millions of dollars’ worth of investment from both sides: McLaren-Honda, Honda-McLaren.

If the rumours are true the sun will set on the partnership at the end of the year and next year we will once again see the rise of McLaren-Mercedes. A good idea? Perhaps not.

McLaren-Honda partnerships have often been amazing. In the late 1980s they beat a path that others followed. They set the standard. But what of the modern iteration? If this season the team cannot replicate previous success then we need to give it more time. The team should be allowed the time to re-establish its F1 crown – they’ve done it before and can do it again. McLaren-Honda earned its place at the top through skill, ability and valour. Part of the problem is that they arrived late to the party; the other teams had a year of development on them. Headlines and column inches were written and they’ve struggled to shake them as much as they’ve struggled to find the extra power from their power unit.

Stopping short of success, though, and signing up with Mercedes-Benz, will send out the message that McLaren cannot cut the mustard by themselves, they also need Mercedes.

I feel it is necessary for this partnership to be in the wilderness for a few years, and not be afraid to be so. In the end the fight back to the top will be respected and remembered as such. With the eventual (possible) success respect would be returned and both parties could show their ultimate abilities once again. They can’t leave until they have succeeded – it’s too expensive to fail. Mercedes-Benz has attributed a growth of 260,000 new car sales to their F1 success in 2014 alone, which makes the F1 team’s budget appear a mere snip.

Let’s not forget that when Mercedes returned to F1 as a proper team for the first time since the 1950s it took time. Michael Schumacher was brought in and the team was slowly built up from the post-Brawn slump. The harder the climb to the top, the easier it is to stay there.

The reformed partnership has certainly been producing headlines and column inches, perhaps taking more of a share than rival teams who have produced better results so far, this season. This could be evidence of enormous public interest and that the struggle is to still be admired.

We understand the issues around sponsorship in this difficult situation, and the impacts that has on the short-term business plan. People often offer lukewarm support to situations that need some work, but perhaps we should consider the costs on short term loss against long term gain. Rather than end contracts that still have years to run (which will presumably be expensive for McLaren), they could concentrate on moving to their position towards success and away from a position of the fragile state it is today to one that ends up ultimately stronger (tomorrow) as a result. The positive effects in business of this phenomenon have often been proved to offer a disproportionate gain. The harder the struggle the greater the respect and returns.

Is Honda’s commitment to solve the issue in question? I feel not. The possible deal with Sauber shows they have noted the importance to move forward in development and regain their place in F1 history as a success, and not leave as a failure. You bet against them achieving this outcome with your money, not mine.

Could it turn out that any future victory depending on Mercedes will be almost pointless for McLaren? Possibly, they will always be in debt to Mercedes (again) when they are selling their own success. They may gain success quickly, but they will never be in control. Keeping their crown will always be in the hands of Mercedes. Will McLaren will be able to keep Mercedes friendly and faithful, like they might with Honda?

The well reported MCL-32 has all the hallmarks of an excellent chassis, and that bolted to a Mercedes power unit could be just wat is needed to slow down those prancing horses rising glory.

Mercedes will no doubt been driven to their decision by the hope that is drowned in a Mercedes dominant finishing grid, the TV screen filled with Mercedes-AMG, Force India – Mercedes, Williams-Mercedes, and McLaren-Mercedes graphics, as it could have easily of been the case in Russia. Each team’s success equally likely to boost the Mercedes brand alongside their own… Each glory will in effect, be a double glory.

Is there a risk this may lead to a certain amount of supporter disgust aimed at the company? From an opposite angle, Mercedes could find their brand in an equally fragile state creating a possible detrimental effect on business,

A recent interview by Ricciardo who answered a question regarding a possible Ferrari seat replied “Sure, you want to put yourself in a winning car at some point and have a chance” This may suggest McLaren do not need to worry too much about drivers, they are all in it for themselves, they will follow the points paying teams.

It could be that McLaren deliverance will prove to be of no avail if it does not depend on itself. The reliability, consistency and durability of its true fans and sponsors may just depend on its own valour.

By Steve Barby

Comments

Latest Results




Latest F1 News

2018 F11 day ago

Raikkonen move means ‘Sauber is now Ferrari’ – Ecclestone

  Bernie Ecclestone has applauded Kimi Raikkonen’s move to Sauber. Raikkonen, 39, surprised the F1 world by signing up with...

2018 F12 days ago

McLaren split boost Honda progress – Verstappen

Max Verstappen admits he is getting excited about 2019. Recently highly critical of Renault, the Dutchman finished second behind Ferrari’s...

2018 F12 days ago

I’m “very happy” to join Sauber F1 for 2019 – Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen says he is “very happy” to join Sauber for 2019, even though he finally ended his winning drought...

2018 F12 days ago

F1 chequered flag rules changed for 2019

F1 has changed a long-standing rule about the iconic chequered flag. In Montreal this year, the end of the Canadian...

2018 F12 days ago

Max made brilliant P2, what a drive from P18 – Red Bull

Max Verstappen took a remarkable drive to second from 18th place on the grid at the United States Grand Prix,...

2018 F12 days ago

Magnussen facing disqualification from US Grand Prix

Kevin Magnussen is facing disqualification from United States Grand Prix after it was detected that the Haas speedy exceeded the...

2018 F12 days ago

Raikkonen troll Hamilton after US Grand Prix win?

Race winner Kimi Raikkonen and second podium finisher Max Verstappen, both asked Lewis Hamilton whether he had still become the...

2018 F12 days ago

Raikkonen wins his first race in 2044 days by claiming US GP

Ferrari speedy Kimi Raikkonen wins US Grand Prix. Its ends his 113-race wait for a top podium. Lewis Hamilton finish...

2018 F12 days ago

How can Lewis Hamilton win the fifth F1 title at the US Grand Prix

Mercedes speedy Lewis Hamilton took a big step near to sealing his fifth F1 world title after securing his Mercedes...

2018 F12 days ago

Verstappen quiet over female-only series

Max Verstappen is keeping his mouth shut about the new female-only open wheeler category. When the ‘W Series’ concept was...




Most Popular

ThisisF1.com is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

References
We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media