McLaren "impatient" in quest to be competitive again in Formula 1

Honda's desire to win in Formula 1 "sometime" can cause friction with a McLaren team that is "impatient" to return to the front, admits the squad's racing director Eric Boullier

McLaren "impatient" in quest to be competitive again in Formula 1

McLaren-Honda reunited for the 2015 F1 season, a quarter of a century after dominating grand prix racing in their first partnership.

But it took five grands prix before the reformed alliance scored a point this year, and McLaren remains only ninth in the constructors' championship despite Fernando Alonso's fifth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Honda started its F1 programme from the ground up and it has tried to avoid hiring experienced personnel from rival manufacturers, something Boullier concedes is a barrier to short-term success.

Honda to introduce new-spec engine

"Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari switched their resources to the new hybrid technology but their people working there had knowledge of current F1 technology," he told AUTOSPORT.

"Honda decided to recreate an Formula 1 programme for the long term, but starting from scratch.

"Most of the people in Sakura didn't have the experience or even the knowledge of the current F1 technology.

"There is a long process to go through - first get the knowledge, get the experience and build the organisation and the operations, because they started from literally nothing."

Boullier said that meant "discussions" between the two parties over the timescale for getting to the front.

"Sometimes we have to pressure, sometimes we have some frustration, but in the end both wanted to be together," he said.

"We are impatient and we definitely hate to be in this position today.

"But every other Formula 1 team - except Mercedes and Ferrari of course - would dream to have such a partnership when they see how committed Honda is to Formula 1.

"The only discussion point we have today is the timing.

"We want to win tomorrow, they want to win sometime."

He reiterated that too long in the midfield would have a wider commercial impact on McLaren.

"In the end, we have to respect Honda's road map," Boullier said. "But obviously Honda has to respect our needs.

"We are a Formula 1 team and our business model is based on our success.

"We need to be successful and we can't be out of success too long. Honda knows that.

"They have their own reasons and their own road map to go back to Formula 1 which we have to accept.

"The only thing we need to do is make sure the communication channels are open enough that everyone is listening to the others and can adjust a bit to help or to suit each one's strategy."

shares
comments
Is the motorsport world sexist?

Previous article

Is the motorsport world sexist?

Next article

Mark Smith's impact on 2016 Sauber F1 car will be "limited"

Mark Smith's impact on 2016 Sauber F1 car will be "limited"
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021