McLAREN

F1 Racing - - SEASON PREVIEW 2016 -

THEY

TO MAKE IT WORK

I’m still in shock that the part­ner­ship be­tween McLaren and Honda was al­lowed to start as badly as it did. I have to be­lieve that McLaren didn’t know Honda’s per­for­mance lev­els would be that poor. McLaren can­not af­ford in mod­ern F1 to take the hits they did last year be­cause it af­fects spon­sors. And al­though Honda are pay­ing at the mo­ment, man­u­fac­tur­ers come and go. They’ve gone through their low­est of lows and this is by far their worst ever run. They have gone back to the fu­ture, as they had so much suc­cess with Honda in the past – can they do it again? They will come back, I’m sure.

Honda must be able to en­gi­neer their way into some­thing more suc­cess­ful. Whether that comes in time for Jen­son and Fer­nando to show their skills re­mains to be seen. It’s un­likely that they’ll win the cham­pi­onship this year. Should they be in the top ten? Ab­so­lutely. Should they be get­ting podi­ums? Ab­so­lutely. This is McLaren-Honda.

Rarely does Ron Den­nis ad­mit to any weak­ness in the team, but he did say it’s not all Honda’s fault. It’s been a very painful pe­riod if you’re a hardcore McLaren fan. As for Fer­nando Alonso, I think he’s com­fort­able with his achieve­ments and his nan­cial po­si­tion. He en­joys rac­ing, but men­tally I think he al­ready has his exit plan sorted. Senna did that at McLaren if you re­mem­ber, build­ing Senna bikes and cre­at­ing a brand. His mind was mov­ing off-track and I’ve started to see that with Fer­nando. You go from youth and ab­so­lute fo­cus to get­ting older and hav­ing more re­spon­si­bil­ity with fam­ily and kids, and then you nd younger peo­ple com­ing through. There is al­ways that tran­si­tion.

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