Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, Albert Park, 2014

McLaren would be winning races with Mercedes – Boullier

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In the round-up: McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says the team would be winning races if it still had Mercedes power units.

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Comment of the day

There’s disbelief that Honda’s struggle is going on:

I genuinely can’t believe Honda were given the clean sheet rules they needed and managed to take a backwards step with them.

I can understand Renault having teething problems as I don’t expect they have Mercedes’ or Ferrari’s resources, but Honda haven’t even managed to match Renault.

I can’t imagine it’s a resources issue, it seems to me to be a combination of their base in Japan being so far away from F1’s heartland and their insular attitude on staff, they clearly don’t have the talent in-house and need to grab help to save the project.

Ron Dennis claimed the power unit was a jewel and for all intents and purposes it’s been about as much use.
Philip (@Philipgb)

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Keith Collantine
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  • 114 comments on “McLaren would be winning races with Mercedes – Boullier”

    1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      16th March 2017, 0:02

      Pretty much McLaren is done with Honda. There is virtually no way to walk back those comments, IHMO.

      1. Red Bull said some pretty mean things about Renault in the past…

        1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
          16th March 2017, 0:16

          @george – And what happened? Red Bull tried desperately to get Mercedes or Ferrari to supply them, even trying to get Bernie involved, which didn’t work. So the only option was to rebadge the Renault as a TAG Heuer.

          1. I think that was his point.

          2. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
            16th March 2017, 12:52

            @george – And what happened? Red Bull tried desperately to get Mercedes or Ferrari to supply them, even trying to get Bernie involved, which didn’t work. So the only option was to rebadge the Renault as a TAG Heuer.”

            …which is still a Renault.

      2. Duncan Snowden
        16th March 2017, 0:52

        Is it just Honda’s fault? No, no, no.”

        Do you still believe in McLaren Honda? Of course. Yes.”

        Ooh. That’s gonna leave a mark, right?

        Geez.

        1. You can tell that Eric is someone trying a little too hard to be PR-savvy and not upset anyone, because he seems always about to diplomatically upset everyone when he makes statements.

    2. “McLaren would be winning races with Mercedes – Boullier”

      And the old saw that goes – “If my aunt had…”

      Oh, never mind.

      1. Yeah… it’s quite a silly statement to make. It’s not like they’ve been producing a chassis as great as Red Bull yet.

        And honestly, the decision to partner with an absolutely rubbish Honda was Mclaren’s … so I don’t see the point of even saying that they would be winning races with their previous supplier.

        1. I think Boullier meant he could win with a Mercedes car

          1. That’s Great!

        2. Ah, but it was one of Eric’s predecesors who teamed up with Honda. Pass the buck…

        3. The thing with honda and mclaren is basically the same as putting a great driver in a really bad car and then wondering if the team/driver can ever accomplish anything. F1 is all about the car and a lot less about the driver skill. Almost everybody could have won the championship in last year’s mercedes. Only challenge comes from your team mate. But take rosberg and hamilton and put them in manors and you start to wonder why these guys even bother to show up.

          The machinery hides a lot of a skill the driver has. And similarly if you have great chassis but super bad engine your performance will suffer. Mclaren could have had the best chassis in 2016 and 2017 but the engine is so bad that it almost completely hides it away. Just like you can take the best engine and drop it into manor your results are going to suck. Mclaren’s performance simply can not be reviewed without taking into considerations how massively bad the engine is and how it limits everything they do.

          Although in this case the problem is very public and easy to see. So it is pretty clear honda is massively holding mclaren back. But could that effect be so big to make a possibly race winning chassis into an also-ran? I doubt it. Maybe some podiums but more than one win in last season would have required mclaren to be able to outrace the mercedes. I don’t think mclaren chassis is/was that good…

      2. Just like they did in 2014…oh wait

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          16th March 2017, 8:47

          @johnmilk

          Quite! Just what I was thinking. If they think they now could be capable of wins, then they must accept that their chassis was rather poor in 2014. I think they would be capable of many podiums this year if the had Mercedes power, but I think they would need to be very lucky to get a win. I still think there will quite a few cars with a better chassis out there.

        2. Well maybe not 2014 but who could forget all the wins they had in 2013 …. oh

      3. maybe he means gp2 races

    3. I always hate it when Team principals go this route and say “What would have been…”.
      It always stains the image of that team. they need to be the ones who bring positivity to the team.

      Happened with Redbull and Horner and now Mclaren. And with comments like this I can almost imagine what is going through the minds of the engineers within the team. All efforts will be done halfheartedly and blames will fall solely on Honda.

      Honda has lost respect and trust and they need to hire the right people and make miracles happen if they ever want to keep going in F1 next year.

      1. But it was different with Horner, wasn’t it? His comments came right on the back of a partnership that brought 4 consecutive WCs and CCs. It was pretty hard to get behind Red Bull at the time, and I vividly remember people here saying “Oh, just quit already, you winers!”

        With McLaren, it’s the third year straight with poor results mostly on behalf of Honda, and what is apparently a nightmare scenario for this particular year. How long do you expect the team principal to stay positive and not look like an idiot smiling in the face of a disaster?

        In fact, from what I see on this site and on other F1 portals, the majority of average fans AND McLaren fans actually want the team to finally speak up, if not to end this parnership altogethre asap.

      2. I also hate it when team principals speculate “what would have been”, but he’s not speculating, he was asked a question and to be honest I don’t see a different answer. “I think we would”. Everyone thinks they would. Where’s the controversy?

        1. I don’t think they would.

          1. Exactly. Few people think they would, because we saw how uncompetitive they were wen they couldn’t blame their engine manufacturer. I mean, the 2014 Williams wasn’t really considered a masterpiece, just a decent car that had the benefit of being powered by the best engine. And they almost scored twice as many points as McLaren that season …
            There’s just too much evidence for the assumption that Honda is merely a credible scapegoat, a lame excuse that serves to mask the deficits of a team that hasn’t quite got its act together for the past few years.
            Just strap a Mercedes to the car, and it will win races – there’s hardly any reason to believe that this is more than wishful thinking.

        2. Not admitting that their chassis is probably not better than Mercedes, which would be rather less controversial.

          1. Does he claim that their chassis is better? I don’t think so. Boullier admitted that problems with their power unit are hindering the work on the chassis, so the chassis definitely isn’t better. Still, I think that with Mercedes power unit, they would be able to make it work. And for people who claim that they would not be winning races because they weren’t winning with Mercedes in 2014, there is a huge factor you’re missing here: they announced Honda deal in 2013, so the flow of information between Mercedes and the team in 2014 wasn’t the best, to say the least.

      3. Hammer the journo then if you don’t like the honest answer “Do you think you’d be winning races if you had a Mercedes engine right now? ‘I think we would.'”

      4. Well, either Boullier answered the question like he did, or had not answered the question at all. I don’t think it’s a surprise he answers.

        At this point they can use some pressure on Honda to really get the whole company behind fixing the engine.

    4. Funnily enough, I was about to reference the very comment that became COTD, before I had seen Keith had chosen it.

      What it makes me think is actually how little we know about the operations in Japan. We know Honda build the engines there, but that’s about it. What actually takes place? I know it sounds daft, but when you consider how much we know about the operations of Ferrari, Mercedes, and Renault, for both their chassis and engines, it’s incredible to compare how little we know about Honda. A lot of people on here talk about how those teams manage things in the factories. Often what is said is wrong, sometimes right, but what is for sure is that we never / rarely seem to talk about how Honda do it. I think COTD’s point is very true, as there is possibly a reason why we hear nothing about it.

      Now, I’ve not read the article but I’m sure there is more to what Boullier said than the headline suggests – although it surely has to be a bitter blow. However nothing I have seen so far suggests the McLaren chassis is that good. I understand it’s hard to make something fast when you can’t develop it fast, but in 2013 and 2014 they had the chance and they failed.

      The keep fighting Michael message is obviously sad but it’s inevitable that it would have to go one day, and it’s never nice to have publicity when that happens. Sadly it seems there isn’t really a lot for Schumacher to fight for now, from what we know.

      1. So I have read the full interview now. The answers to the Mercedes questions obviously weren’t good (and no doubt he should have not said that), but on the whole the interview was honest and positive, on Boullier’s part. Boullier definitely seemed pressured into answering that question, and to say no would have basically implied the chassis isn’t there (although many are sceptical as I said). Also it is worth noting that McLaren went with Honda because they want to win championships, not just races. They couldn’t be further from that but I’m sure it remains true that no Mercedes customer will win a championship.

        He got the usual questions about the future with Alonso, and about the future with Honda, and he tried to be positive about both, without being dishonest.

        I know it sounds like I am defending Boullier a lot, which I don’t intend to (and to be clear, I agree he shouldn’t have said that), but really the interview was poor and the headline misrepresents the overall message of what he said.

      2. What it makes me think is actually how little we know about the operations in Japan. We know Honda build the engines there, but that’s about it. What actually takes place?

        I may be wrong but didn’t a Japanese TV network did a documentary on Honda making the new engine a couple of years ago?
        If we don’t know anything about them and how they operate is probably because we don’t show much interest either.

        1. Can you provide a link? It’d be an interesting watch

      3. The “Keep fighting Michael” message will return when Mick inevitably makes his way to Formula 1.

        1. ExcitedAbout17
          16th March 2017, 8:32

          Let’s hope not! @zimkazimka

          I hope Mick earns a drive one day, and his father well enough to attend.

      4. It would not surprise me if Mick getting signed for a F1 driver development program resulted either the “Keep Fighting Michael” message reappearing on that team’s car, or a different pro-Michael message (even if there is no change – positive or negative – sometimes campaigns change phrasing to keep the message fresh). If Mick is currently considering multiple driver development options (and he now has enough results for that to be plausible), it would explain Mercedes removing the message now, rather than later.

        Either that, or Mercedes is anticipating a mid-season sponsor re-arrangement and the message will be “re-launched” at that time, in whatever new location it will be carried.

    5. AS:A question… do you miss Ron Dennis?

      EB:What?

      Pure gold!

      1. Which makes me think what really was Eric B’s role on the whole McLaren debacle. I would think Dennis brought Capito to take Boullier’s place , then in-house politics happened, Boullier sided with the investors who gave him backing, and both Dennis and Capito were ousted. Boullier still has to prove his worth as a team manager. He did a good job at Renault/Lotus, but nothing compared to what Ron Dennis did. As a McLaren fan I feel, more than anything, that if results don’t come this year, more than Honda, Boullier should go. He should also be accountable for this failure, as the head of the team for these past 3 years.

        1. Boullier didn’t impress me at all with his job at Renault/Lotus and he doesn’t impress at McLaren either. He probably should go either way, but I don’t think he should be entirely accountable for Honda failure. I’m certain that Honda development would be very different with two teams. We know that they were willing to supply Red Bull but Ron Dennis was blocking the deal, and I’m not sure if Boullier had any say in it. I think that was the single most detrimental decision for the engine supplier and for the team as a whole.

    6. McLaren wasn’t winning anything when they had a Mercedes hybrid in 2014 either mr. Boullier.

      Before that McLaren would often build cars that were off the pace too but back then it had the resources to out develop other big teams. Now you’re on roughly half the budget Ferrari, Merc and RBR are on.

      Yes Honda is the worst engine on the grid at this moment, but it’s also a perfect excuse for being as lame as you are. Meanwhile, McLaren keeps living in the past while they can’t accept they’re nowhere near as good as they were 10 years ago.

      1. McLaren are the Liverpool FC of the F1 world.. (this coming from a Liverpool fan)

        Thrive in past history and hope every year will be ‘our year’ hahahaha

        1. what an idiot to say that :)

    7. I personally don’t see where mclaren can go if they were to part with Honda.. beg on cosworth or maybe try sweet talk BMW!?(although I’d love to see a BMW works team)

      There’s no way Mercedes or Ferrari would supply their competitors with engines and risk their own success.

      Renault, probably have the same mindset..

      It’s a horrible situation for such a legendary team. Hopefully they will come good, but I really thought Honda would have caught up by now.. Id they don’t they will surely lose ‘nano and any chance of signing a top driver going forward.

      1. Actually, as part of an engine manufacturer deal agreed last year, if Honda leaves, then Mercedes, Ferrari or Renault (who are all currently supplying three teams each), must make a supply available to a customer team (as long as certain conditions are met).

        According to the rules, the decision on which engine McLaren could get could come down to a ‘ballot’ – with the final choice drawn out of a hat.

        One rival manufacturer even suggested such a draw should take place live on television for a bit of added excitement.

        1. This was done to avoid a situation like Red Bull found themselves in after the Renault fiasco.

        2. Any guarantee it won’t be a year old engine… ???

          1. No, no such guarantees exist. Though if Eric kicked up enough of a stink about it…

    8. Matt’s article comparing the aerodynamics of the top 3 is a really good read.

      Some tangible differences to the cars. I hope the Ferrari really is the best of both worlds.

      1. Agreed, a great and interesting article. Unfortunately the body of the article suggests that it should be of greater interest to people with an interest in designing aeroplanes than to people interested in designing cars. Honda build planes, perhaps RBR, SF and MB-AMG should also.

    9. No Eric, it wouldn’t.

      1. I agree. In the last two years there was only one occasion when a customer team were in the running to beat Mercedes on the track, Mercedes are a very good team and have a very good car. McLaren couldn’t outperform Mercedes when they were a Mercedes customer, so why would they outperform them if they had remained a customer? I think it must be frustrating for Alonso to come to a team that had the famed Mercedes engine only to find they had replaced it for an under powered unreliable Honda engine.
        I used to fix things, and one of the laws of fixing things is “Every major system failure brings with it minor system failures”. So when you finish work, return to your car, and found the car head lights were left turned on and the battery went flat, then you had to ring one of those rescue agencies to send around someone to start your car, which made you home late for dinner. The problem wasn’t the battery, or the agency, it was yourself for not checking the car before you left it.
        In this context I see Boullier’s comments as part of the problem at McLaren-Honda: it is a minor system failure. The major system failure is back at McLaren-Honda, something isn’t right there. Again, was every vital system thoroughly tested before the test session started? Let’s go through the check list: Was the engine ready? No. Was the Hybrid system ready? No. Was it reliable? No. Was it thoroughly tested before hand? No. While each sounds like a major system failure, in fact they are minor in the overall scheme of things, the major system failure is something common to all of those parts.

    10. I saw an RB onboard. The behaviour of the car is completely different to Ferrari’s and Mercedes cars, the RB has no understeer, skittish on quick corners though, pretty balanced throughout the lap, the Ferrari was poor on the hairpins and the Mercedes was perfect. The fuel and the start of the season aero package is as ever still to be seen, what’s new for this season is that the Melbourne package should make a massive change to the cars behaviour.

      1. @peartree I’m perfectly fine if the Mercs go “perfect” at .6 of a Second slower, even if the Ferrari Is a bit of a handful being faster :-)

    11. How many more times is Boullier going to insist his car is a race winner, if only they had a better engine? It’s really tedious.

    12. sunny stivala
      16th March 2017, 4:33

      “mclaren would be winning if it had a Mercedes engine” Not according to Ron Dennis, I am sure that if Dennis was still around Boullier would not have dared let such a fart slip out his mouth.

    13. I think the people at Mclaren really are pretty deluded if they believe any of the rubbish they spout off in interviews. Its been going on a few years now. Wheres that big sponsor they kept promising? Just because of their history they seem to hold themselves in much higher regard than is currently the case…

      1. I thought the title sponsor didn’t materialize specifically due to Ron’s stubbornness to lower the price tag.

        1. @zimkazimka well ron’s been gone for a while now. You tell me if they have found one yet.

          1. It takes a year to get a title sponsor, and Ron hasn’t been gone a year – even taking into account that title sponsors usually get introduced at the start of seasons, rather than the middle.

            1. @alianora-la-canta well i don’t know which sport you’ve been watching but i feel mostly those deals that take a long time to bargain eventually never happen. Like good ol’ eric’s Lotus investors.

            2. F1 is the sport I’ve been watching, and title sponsorships in F1 have been that long to negotiate pretty much ever since the amount required went over the £30 m mark. There were books about F1 in 1998/1999 that were citing that sort of time frame. So when Eric Boullier said it a few days ago, he was only stating a long-standing commercial reality. I have heard worse figures for F1 – the Niquitin deal Williams had in 2004 took 18 months to agree, at least partially due to additional regulatory issues.

              Smaller sponsorship deals can be and often are concluded in much shorter timescales.

            3. @mrboerns I would also add that investor deals (as distinct from sponsorship deals) are very much “how long is a piece of string” matters – sometimes it takes 72 hours (Paul Stoddart at Minardi – he even recycled some old due diligence to get that investment done, and I’m not sure the 49% purchase that Warburg Pincus did of Jordan took much longer) and sometimes it takes three-and-a-half years (Vijay Mallya’s original attempt to buy Spyker occurred back when it was Jordan and EJ was trying to find a seller, and he kept in on-and-off contact with the various buyers until he finally got someone to agree his price, and Ford were trying to get an investment in Stewart for not much less time than that, before deciding to switch tactics and insist on a total purchase).

    14. McLaren have since lost since Hamilton left. Hamilton saw the demise of McLaren coming, Mercedes was clearly the right move. And McLaren haven’t lost because of his leave (which shows: Poor results in 2013 and 2014). The lack of sponsors and focus on the roadcar programme… The Honda deal is all they could muster, and just another nail in the coffin. I’ve been saying it for the last 2 years, but I get a lot of comments in response that a team is stronger when they build their own engine or have their own sole engine partnership. I completely disagree. I think this was both a budgetary move and trying to be “nostalgic”. The orange livery is great and all, but McLaren is failing hard in trying to bring back their historic roots, the only problem is they cannot live up to their successes in history now. The Mercedes powertrain has been a winning platform for the last 4 seasons. McLaren had at least 2 seasons notice in that regard. Big mistake.

      1. God, dude, relax, lets take a moment to look back when ferrari where like this a few years ago, mclaren, like all the big teams will rise again, maybe not this year, maybe not with honda, but eventually it will happen ;)

        1. You mean like Williams? Lotus? Brabham? Tyrell?

          1. Mclaren is the second oldest team in f1 with almost as much races as ferrari, im not saying lotus or williams are bad teams, it’s just you can’t never compare them, in my opinion anyways, the only team you can compare it with is Ferrari, and Mclaren will always have the budget to fight for titles, that is the difference!

            1. Well Lotus was second only to ferrari in terms of heritage when it folded. It had also contributed way more to the history of F1 at that point, pretty much developing the blue print for any modern single seater from the mid 50ies dinosaurs. Didn’t help them the slightest.

            2. Compared to McLaren that is

      2. @tweak I highly doubt Hamilton saw this McLaren decline coming, at least for 2013.

        1. @tweak So, you’re basically saying that McLaren is bad because Hamilton left because…bad results in 2013 and 2014.

          You do know what a fallacy is, don’t you?

      3. Hamilton left Mclaren because a manufacturer with POTS of money and a business that cannot afford to be off the podium came knocking offering him a key role and an open run at many championships (Large sums of cash were also an attraction). The biggest selling point: Mercedes have the cash to buy in the talent they needed to get the job done. They backed it up buying in engineering talent**** like Paddy Lowe from McLaren together with a number of lower level recruitment policies that make the Team a really attractive prospect for the best of apprentice engineering talent.

        Irrespective of how you view Hamilton, he made a smart move at the right time.

        Honda need to gag on their pride & buy in talent. They won’t. Can’t possibly lose that much face the whole board of directors would have to resign.

        McLaren for their own sake need to find a fast way to make the the very best engine development talent appear in Honda’s development program in a way where Honda does not loose face publicly. I sincerely hope Eric B. is not tasked with that one.

        **** Jury is out on Paddy’s replacement at Merc!

    15. The Baku GP was everything but a success, surely the stakeholders liked the money they probably made, but was a hit with the fans? I don’t think so.

      The only challenge about the track is its with (which can make it interesting this year), but apart from that all the curves are the same. I don’t even think there were any incidents during the race, so challenging it is not, at least not at the level Monaco is.

      I know it is the promoters job to say those things, but accusing the owners of the sport of being ignorant isn’t the smartest of moves.

      And comments such as this: “It does upset us, obviously. Mr Maffei has been involved in F1 for less than half a year, we’ve been working on this project for three years now so we have more experience with F1 than them. I think saying something like this is ignorant, but we’ll see.” Don’t help the cause either

      Also don’t understand to what “large chunk of F1 revenues” he is referring to, it is the amount of money that they pay? Surely not related with attendance. And apart from that, as said by Mr Maffei they didn’t really brought anything to F1.

      In 2017 if it turns out to be another fiasco, Liberty should start looking for a way to end that 10 year contract.

      1. @johnmilk you know, i like baku. It Is the one thing we no longer get these days: a Track that’s different from others. Just because one race was boring people are very negative about it. As if Spa never produced a Snoozer before.

        1. @mrboerns my comment is directed to the Reuters article, where the promoters of the circuit say it was a success, I think we can agree it wasn’t (I even think it was the worst race according to the F1Fanatic rate-the-race poll).

          The track is different (and the old town section interesting even), but the layout far from inspiring. Of course every circuit will have bad races, but if the track is good chances are they won’t happen as often.

          To have variety is good, but it needs quality as well. Baku might turn out to produce great racing, but if it doesn’t it is occupying a slot in the calendar that could be any place else.

          1. The old town second sector and fast third sector are pretty good imho. They should take away DRS from the main straight because it doens’t need it and get some fans in the grandstands. I think the circuit is very capable of providing intresting racing, it just didn’t happen last year for some reason, but like others said Spa and also Monaco, Monza, Barcelona and Silverstone have produced dull races.

            Baku itself is not a country that has any motorsport tradition and nobody really get’s excited by Azerbadjan anyway. Liberty is right that it’s not really doing anything for F1 as a brand. The race has a 10jr contract though.

            1. @jeffreyj Blame Lewis! Dude had to stuff it in qualy didn’t he?. What was Nico supposed to do?

        2. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
          16th March 2017, 14:37

          Valencia churned out boring races for years until it produced an absolute cracker in its final race, maybe Baku will come good.

          That said, that Baku GP was probably the most boring race I have ever watched in my life.

      2. The Baku race was nothing short of tedious… The worst race on the calendar of 2016 and I suspect it will be equally as tedious this year. There are far better circuits around that make for a more entertaining race than Baku.

      3. Liberty gets nothing from attendance; that’s what the organisers get to compensate them for the fee they pay Liberty to host the event. In Azerbaijan’s case, that fee is huge (more so than for any other country).

      4. accusing the owners of the sport of being ignorant isn’t the smartest of moves.

        But it is true, certainly with this Maffei bloke. He thinks Mexico and Abu Dhabi are successful races, I would question this hard because the races in Mexico since it’s return have been woeful and Abu Dhabi is a pathetic excuse for a circuit that shows just about everything there is to show about what things are wrong with modern day Formula 1.

        Also, Baku has hosted just one race so to pick on it is really unfair on the organisers. Rome wasn’t built in a day, give them some time and whatever problems there are will be solved. I personally think it is one of the better circuits to have been included on the calendar in the last decade and is the best street circuit by far because it actually has quick sections. I know I would much rather go to Baku to watch a Grand Prix than Monaco or Singapore.

    16. Christopher Aoun
      16th March 2017, 7:55

      Maybe Mclaren can do what RedBull did with Renault/Tag Hauer and rebrand Honda to Acura, I’m sure the new American boss could get this over the line. Acura actually did something with the NSX that Honda always promised, maybe they could deliver a proper engine too.

      Mclaren Acura

      Does it have a ring to it?

      1. You can put a turd in a Pizza Box. Doesn’t make It a Pizza Really.

      2. McLaren Citizen

        They can find comfort in the fact that even a broken watch is right two times a day

        1. @johnmilk Meaning Mclaren are at least on the pace in the warm up/cool down laps? I’d agree if mclaren were to finish.

          1. @mrboerns arriving at the circuit and leaving it, if the tow truck doesn’t brake down in the process.

            1. @johnmilk i don’t think Honda build trucks, do they?

            2. @mrboerns Honda Acty

            3. @johnmilk Even in the lorry building business Honda stays true to its size zero concept! Impressive! Most Impressive!

          2. Ahah! I think that’s what they use to move about their engine @mrboerns, no wonder it shakes itself to bits

      3. Call up Carlos Ghosn and ask if they can get a supply of Renaults under the Nissan banner. I was secretly hoping Red Bull would have done this last year. Given the current health of Nissan’s international racing (coming from a huge fan and Nissan owner) I don’t think it could hurt to have an F1 presence.

      4. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        16th March 2017, 14:49

        I don’t understand your logic at all here. Acura is a sub-brand of Honda, how will changing the name of the team suddenly produce a better engine? You do know that Tag Heuer have absolutely nothing to do with the engine in the Red Bull and that it is identical spec to the works Renault right?

        1. Christopher Aoun
          16th March 2017, 18:53

          Of course it wouldn’t make a difference.. it was a just dig at Honda. ;)

          The joke was RedBull rebranded Renault to Tag Heuer and co indecently the engine had been improved over the season. Maybe Honda should do that so that their problems magically disappear. Or, maybe just a completely different name?

          Mclaren Rolex? Casio? :D

    17. I’m still curious as to why McLaren seemingly blocked Honda from supplying other teams a few years back. Surely, with even one more team (say, Toro Rosso) being supplied with a Honda engine, testing for the power unit is doubled immediately. Am I being naïve or would that mean that by this season, McLaren would be back on the pace with a reliable, if not competitive, engine.

      The only reason that I can summon in my head for this is that McLaren were nervous that their own shortcomings, perhaps with the chassis/aero etc. would be revealed if another team had exactly the same engine and started beating them. There is no other reason in my mind for blocking another team from working with Honda.

      They are as much as fault here.

      1. The only reason that I can summon in my head for this is that McLaren were nervous that their own shortcomings, perhaps with the chassis/aero etc. would be revealed if another team had exactly the same engine and started beating them. There is no other reason in my mind for blocking another team from working with Honda.

        @ben-n Thought of this have I never, perfect sense it makes

      2. @ben-n – very good and perfectly reasonable poin… oh why would you defile Yoda with Bernie’s face?

        @johnmilk – ha ha, very appropriate reply.

    18. McLaren? Isn’t that the team that showed Mercedes the door because it’s “impossible to be competitive as a customer team”?
      Oh, the irony … :D

      1. Yeah, with these quotes McLaren are
        A. Futher damaging their relationship with Honda
        B. Scaring off any other suplier to work with them in the future and
        C. making themselves look incompetent for ditching the Mercedes suply in the first place.

    19. Sviatoslav (@)
      16th March 2017, 8:38

      I recall comments from Honda representatives (Arai?) that they “need to train young engineers” or something like that.
      I’ve also read a comment in a Motorsport article claiming that Honda hires new staff (students) to work on their F1 power unit each six months. If this is true, then it’s understandable why Honda fails over and over again. It’s wrong people who drag them down, not the place where they’re located.

    20. During the current turbo era, 3 seasons and 59 races have passed. 51 of them was won by the factory Mercedes team, but no other Mercedes powered car scored any of the remaining wins (3 for Red Bull in 2014, 3 for Ferrari in 2015, 2 for Red Bull in 2016). I would say, that McLaren could match Williams and Force India with a Mercedes engine, but I wouldn’t expect much more.

    21. I’m coming to the conclusion that McLaren’s knocking of Honda is either poorly conceived encouragement that’s unlikely to work or an elaborate bluff.

    22. Evil Homer (@)
      16th March 2017, 11:13

      Adrian Newey has very much been over the past few years describing F1 as a “Engine Formula” over an “Aero Formula” Even in Spain testing last week he quoted how much lap time you can improve with an aero improvement compared to an aero one.

      One would except an aero expert (the Godfather if you will) to cry their hands are tied. Even we know they are not that much.

      But Honda and Red Bull both proven that if you aren’t happy with your engine supplier there are very few options for another that will make you competitive to win a Championship against the supplier. Red Bull have lucked out a bit as 1) Renault didn’t tell them where to go & 2) Then Renault made some progress.

      More issues for Ross Brawn- how can an F1 Team have an option at 3-4 power units and still have a good shot? (Not sure that has ever happened, but be nice hey!?)

    23. A question… do you miss Ron Dennis?

      What?

      Great interview with Boullier!

    24. McLaren would be winning races with Mercedes

      And I’d be a millionaire if I had a million dollars. So what, Boullier?

    25. Pretty much the perfect photo for this article.

      1. A McLaren Mercedes, with the wrong fuel in it, not winning a race.

    26. can anyone explain to me that quote stating about the removal of #KeepfightingMichael from Mercedes? What does: “It was removed to free the way for future usage of the message” even mean?
      I genuinely ask because I can’t grasp the meaning of this.

      1. @alfa145 it does sound redundant.

        The Schumachers have created the Keep Fighting Foundation, the article hints at future collaborations between Mercedes and them, that is probably what they mean with “…future usage of the message”?!

      2. I think that is a PR speak kind of way to say We’ve done more than we needed, now we no longer mean to have our product tainted by the negativity of thinking about the terrible faith of our ex employee. But that’s just my two cents

    27. F1 coming back to Adelaide would be amazing but I honestly cannot see it happening whilst the Adelaide 500 (Australian Supercars) still exists (which is a great event).

      But, if it’s found to be viable, I’d welcome it with open arms (as any fan would for their home city).

      1. interesting thing in that article is, “according to the BBC”…. i read the BBC report and the headline earlier. The report itself makes no mention of any sources whatsoever

          1. cheers dbHenry

            1. I saw that Autosport article this morning then wanted to come over to the F1Fanatic to see opinions.

              It wouldn’t be good if McLaren got Merc power, just to be slow because the chassis isn’t what they thought it was.

    28. Boullier hot air again. Unfortunately McLaren have many more issues than just the donk. Shareholders need to finish cleaning house ~ this clown also needs to go.

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