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 financial 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 find younger people coming through. There is always that transition. I just can’t believe that Honda, with their shining image so badly tarnished by an appalling 2015, won’t have got their act together over the winter. If they have, Fernando and Jenson could be back towards where they should be. And if they haven’t… there’ll be hell to pay