...OH WHAT A TANGLED WEB
It’s taken six months and protracted negotiations between three engine manufacturers, two drivers and four teams, not to mention a tearful goodbye to $100m, to annul the doomed marriage between Mclaren and Honda. F1 Racing sifts through the wreckage
IN THE END,
it all came down to trust, faith and confidence – or the lack of them. During the three years they spent with Honda as their engine partner, Mclaren were “bleeding”, as one senior team member puts it, and they felt they had to extricate themselves from the failed relationship. Doing so proved more difficult than they could ever have envisaged. A decision initially made in March, when it became abundantly clear just how much trouble Honda were in, finally came to a resolution in September. Six months of negotiations, which involved three engine manufacturers, four teams, and two drivers. And in the end, Mclaren have waved goodbye to a net $100m and swapped the worst engine in Formula 1 for the second worst. Or third best, to look at it another way. At the same time, Red Bull have loaned one of their drivers to a rival and Honda have found a place to develop out of the spotlight – only to invite it right back onto themselves, thanks to their improbable claim that they are aiming for the “top three on the grid” with new partner Toro Rosso. Why did it happen? How did it happen? And what are the prospects for Mclaren, Renault, Toro Rosso and their owners Red Bull, Carlos Sainz, and, last but not least, Fernando Alonso?