Over-promise and under-deliver in Formula 1 and you have the recipe for a PR nightmare. That stands as the only real legacy for the second-coming of McLaren-Honda. McLaren was confident that Honda would take it back to the sharp end, that the partnership would win again, and Honda would mix it with Mercedes and Ferrari.
The pain of failing to live up to expectations is part of the reason Honda treads so cautiously when discussing its prospects now. Working to rebuild its reputation with Toro Rosso last season, still with high expectations and pressure but away from the spotlight, was a welcome change of pace.
That changes in 2019. Honda is partnered with Red Bull as well as its junior team, and like it or not that comes with much greater public interest. Especially when Red Bull's upper echelons include the opinionated, vocal and unapologetically honest Helmut Marko.