Chase Carey, Bernie Ecclestone, Christian Horner, Circuit of the Americas, 2016

Ecclestone failed to invest in F1 – Carey

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In the round-up: New Formula One CEO Chase Carey criticises Bernie Ecclestone for failing to invest in the sport.

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Is Alonso being too hard on Honda?

It’s hard not to feel bad for Honda. While Alonso, rightly or wrongly pours on the scorn, I have no doubts that Honda are working flat out to make a competitive power unit.

I imagine it’s equally disheartening for everyone at McLaren and Honda. I feel as if they all rolled the dice in this partnership, Alonso, McLaren and Honda. It hasn’t paid off, that’s frustrating but it’s also motor racing and they knew the risks of entering a partnership, there’s no guarantees in F1.

Personally, I feel as if Alonso’s comments are too strong and demoralising at times. Although true, I highly doubt that this public scolding is motivating the engineers at Honda, it would be better kept internal and through management.
Patrick (@Aqualyn)

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  • 79 comments on “Ecclestone failed to invest in F1 – Carey”

    1. I think for Alonso, he may well feel like it doesn’t matter what he says now his contract has only got 8 months left. I can’t imagine that he will want to continue with the team if they are still using Honda next year. But I do agree with COTD, especially as he’s paid 30 million per year

      1. Considering they pay him 30 million a year that’s exactly the reason to hang on to every word he says very seriously.

        Someone valued that highly shouldn’t be expected to just keep quiet when things aren’t working.

        1. No other team would pay him that much a year, especially when you consider his history & behaviour with other teams, his age and the fact that he hasn’t won anything for over a decade!

          The only person who valued him that highly and offered to pay that much, was Honda, who are the ones I believe are paying his salary. In case people have forgotten, Honda wanted to make a comeback with a quote on quote “top driver”. Alonso was the only one available, given he talked himself out of Ferrari, even though he had a year left on his contract. Where else was he going to go? Red Bull has their own driver program & Mercedes sure wasn’t going to take him. After the Chinese GP, Kravitz mentioned in his notebook segment, that Alonso offered to drive for free with Mercedes and they still didn’t take him up on his offer. So why would anyone thinks he’ll get a seat now? He has burned all his bridges at Ferrari, so his only viable option is back to Renault for a 3rd time.

          No one in F1 deserves anything, you get what you work for. Alonso is the architect of his current situation.

          1. I’m not sure if that was meant to be a reply to me or just a general rant :s That Honda are the ones paying the 30 million is even more reason to listen to him…

            As for Ferrari his days were numbered well before he left, Vettel hardly hid his dream to drive for Ferrari and Ferrari were welcoming him with open arms immediately. He simply wouldn’t fit alongside with their #1 driver culture.

            I don’t think Renault is such a stupid idea, or even Williams, it’ll be an uphill battle no matter where he goes, or if he stays, of course he’s the architect of his situation but so are we all. We all do the best we can, sometimes you make bad decisions, sometimes good decisions, because you have to…

            1. Renault would be his best and most likely choice.
              Deep pockets, excellent engine…and they want him!

            2. @jerry

              “Renault have deep pockets”…..

              You’re joking right? And even if you’re not, deep pockets doesn’t guarantee success, remember Toyota?

              Alonso says he doesn’t want to be in a midfield car in 2018, that’s exactly what Renault will be.

          2. @kgn11 Checked out those comments from Kravitz about Alonso, which are interesting, but I think still aren’t the final answer. Kravitz can’t know exactly what the team is going to do, as they themselves may not know yet what they will do.

            First of all, FA made that offer 4 or 5 years ago, so…different time, different situation. Kravitz claims they won’t take FA while LH is there, even if FA again offers his services for free. Not unless LH quits or leaves Merc he says.

            However, things can easily change. Let’s see how Merc fares this season. If Merc doesn’t win this year let’s see LH’s attitude about that. Let’s see if TW might think he’ll need more than an LH and a VB to do something about the resurgent Ferrari of SV’s. Sure if LH wins the WDC this year then perhaps TW will be happy with the status quo, but if not, I can sure see him thinking he needs two WDC’s in the seats for 2018.

            There needn’t be any assumptions about 10 year old drama resurfacing as it’s been 10 years and they’re well past that. And LH only has one more year on his contract. They might theoretically be together only one season which isn’t so much to manage.

            So as I say I think a lot will depend on what happens this season. TW has now seen that FA continues to be frustrated and handcuffed. He is starting to see that they themselves have their work cut out for them against SV. I just don’t think at this stage anyone can say exactly what Merc will do with LH’s teammate for 2018. And FA back to Renault? Perhaps, but they’ll have to quite step up their game this season.

            I would advise LH to be on his best most diplomatic behaviour this season if they lag behind SV, because if he gets accusatory towards his team again I think that will indeed end his tenure there after 2018.

            At the moment I find it hard to imagine Merc passing on FA when they could have him for a song, and may need him, and may also need him to not be their competition. What Kravitz is opining on now may not be the sentiment in 3 or 4 months.

          3. You aren’t a Alonso fan I take it?

            1. So what if I’m not?

          4. @ Kgn

            No, I’m not joking. Renault have deep pockets, an excellent engine which will only get better, and will be competing with the big boys next year. Having Alonso will add icing to the cake:)

      2. There are about 6 really desirable seats in F1. The winning team that most clearly needs a new driver has fired WDC for bad mouthing the team (Prost).

        If I was looking to fill a seat I’d consider speed, teamwork, and the potential of the driver to benefit (or hurt) the brand paying the bills.

        That’s why I don’t think Alonso will race for a winning team again. He is clearly better 1:1 than Kimi or Bottas, but he just isn’t a better fit. His talk just reinforces it.

        Pity, really. Perhaps Renault can become competitive next year.

        1. Are you serious? Alonso spend all those years at Ferrari in a terrible car and said nothing but great things about the team. He only left because it was clear they were still a few years away from competing for the WDC/WCC again. He took a gamble on McLaren/Honda and unfortunately it hasn’t paid off.

          I’m not sure I can remember a single time when Alonso said anything bad about Ferrari while he drove it to 5 places better than his teammate (and where it belonged) every weekend.

          Alonso won’t go to Ferrari, Merc, or RB simply because they have their golden drivers at the moment. Verstappen is the RB driver of the future unless Ferrari comes calling, Vettel will stay at Ferrari if he wins/is competitive in the WDC, and Hamilton will stay at Merc because they simply have the best car until the rules get changed. Alonso would ‘fit’ just fine in any of those teams. Everyone else is a 1+ seconds back. Unless Renault have something up their sleeve, I don’t see why it would make sense for him to go back. Going from 1.5 seconds behind pole to 1 second behind pole still means you’re getting lapped every race. He’s only choices are stay with McLaren and hope they get it sorted, move to Ferrari/Merc/RB after a spectacular silly season move by someone else, or ride off into the sunset as one of the best F1 drivers ever.

          Also, it’s worth noting that we only hear a tiny fraction of radio transmissions. I doubt he’s the only driver that rips into the team for mistakes. Alonso’s just getting airtime because it’s becoming a joke.

          1. The worse car Alonso drove whilst at Ferrari was the 2014 car. I can’t understand why people keep saying he was given a bunch of crap cars.

          2. “I’m not sure I can remember a single time when Alonso said anything bad about Ferrari while he drove it to 5 places better than his teammate (and where it belonged) every weekend.”

            Did you miss the 2014 season?

          3. Well, he did spend quite some time of those Ferrari years telling everyone who did or did not care to listen how bad the car and how incredible his achievement was.

            1. Really? Alonso? Doesn’t sound like him at all, how odd. And people bought that?

            2. I know it’s crazy, right?

            3. Who would have thunk it???

    2. Disagree with the CoTD. Alonso has been very patient and restrained in the past 3 years of Honda incompetence. Not even Danny Ric would have been better mannered.

      I don’t feel bad for Honda. I don’t feel for corporations. Sorry. They had a simple billion dollar job to do. And they have failed miserably. One or two years of rookie engineering mistakes might be tolerable – if they could learn from their mistakes. However, it appears they are institutionally unable to.

      The motivation of the project managers / engineers at Honda should not be impacted by a few angry words by a driver let down repeatedly by poor performance and reliability. The failure to meet their own design goals over three years should be motivation enough.

      1. Agree 99.9%. Personally, this seems to point to a cultural problem, not a technical one. Honda has shown throughout history that it knows what it’s doing technically.

        Oh, and before anyone rubbishes me for a “racist” comment, I am of East Asian descent who knows intimately about their culture.

      2. Absolutely right.

        The time for niceties are over, Honda deserve this type of public pressure to get its act together.

        Alonso has probably been give free reign by Brown and Boullier, as they dont seem to be overly bothered by the formers recent outbursts.

        Honda dont really have an excuse anymore. They’ve had the opportunity to go back to the drawing board but failed miserably. I really had high hopes for them this year, I mean, why wouldnt you? They’ve poured a ton of money in to this and yet, they still cant engineer a decent package.

        If their so called Spanish GP upgrade doesnt deliver a positive result, perhaps Honda need to do the honourable thing and pull out like Nissan did with its LMP1 program.

      3. Personally, I’d be pretty frustrated if someone was slating my hard work repeatedly. Honda’s engine might not be good, but the engineers have still worked hard to produce what they have and they’re still working hard to improve the engine. I imagine they have very long work hours.

        I still think people are oversimplifying the process of designing and developing an engine. Having money isn’t always the solution to problem, it’s not a “simple billion dollar job”. Honda obviously had some R&D suggesting that the route they were taking was the correct one. It’s not the first time a team with a large amount of resources (McLaren) has gone down a development route that hasn’t initially/ever paid off. Developing something so complicated is a minefield, there’s such a huge combination of choices to be made that it really demonstrates what an astounding accomplishment Mercedes’ 2014 engine was. Honda could come up with a fix for any major issue and that fix could potentially create create more issues to fix. The pursuit of fixing issues and improving reliability is a never ending cat and mouse game.

        I totally agree that the Honda engine is disappointing. But the team of engineers at Honda still have my respect for their hard work and perseverance.

        1. You can have respect for someone and still think they’ve failed at their job.

          In the world of any sort of racing, you’re either competitive or you’re not. If you’re not due to technical reasons, you’ve failed. If your cars can’t finish a race, you’ve failed. If your 2017 spec engine is less powerful than a hand-me-down 2016 spec Ferrari, you’ve failed.

          No one is saying Honda isn’t working hard, or they don’t have great people on it, or they aren’t trying their best…but all of that simply isn’t good enough. They can pat each other on the back all they want for building a super complex and absolutely magnificent piece of racing engine machinery, but it doesn’t mean squat if they can’t finish a race.

          1. Dragging them through the mud isn’t doing anything to improve anything. Angry radio messages etc. are demoralising and in my opinion, counterproductive. Understanding and words of encouragement are more appropriate, being nice to your partner doesn’t mean dropping your expectations for a race winning engine.

            1. The one being dragged through the mud is ALO. C’mon, Honda needs to do a lot more. It is really disappointing progress. Let’s be honest.They need a good “punch in the gut” and get their act together

            2. Honda will survive. A driver’s time in F1 is very limited. Honda is destroying whatever hopes Alonso had three years ago, so they deserve the scold.

              Some people just seem to think that the guys at McLaren or the drivers themselves are not working as hard as the Honda guys. If you work hard and your work is thrown away by some coworker for the third year in a row, you surely will scream at him and want him fired.

        2. Oh those poor little delicate snowflakes at Honda can’t be subjected to criticism. Maybe they should make a competitive engine instead of crying in their ramen.

      4. People don’t understand that McL/Honda don’t owe anything to anyone, especially the driver on a multi-million pound contract. They owe it to themselfs the results amd their entire teams, Alonso is just another member, and quite an irrelevant one of the only thong he does is complain and follow his own goals. The decision to go there was entirely his.

        The only thing that I would like to see is Honda sort it out quickly and see what McL was really able to do. 2 out of the 3 Alonso’s retirements were down to McL not Honda

      5. I can’t understand how Honda can successfully build power units for Indy cars but are baffled with F1!

        1. Last time I checked the difference in architecture was quite substantial.
          For instance, Indy engines didnt have to recover heat from a turbo shaft spinning at 120000 rpm and then send it to the batteries – and after that sync the deployment from the batteries via gps so that the car gets better acceleration exiting the most important turns.
          And so on.

      6. Here’s why the CotD is wrong:

        Honda has had every opportunity under the sun to get their F1 program together, and they’ve dropped the ball so often and so hard that it’s broken.

        Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari had to guess what the competition would be like in 2014. Renault and Ferrari underestimated Mercedes’ commitment to the new formula. But Honda, who didn’t need to deliver an engine until 2015, KNEW what Mercedes had delivered in 2014– and while I’m sure Mercedes kept them from getting really technical information, Honda had to know through McLaren roughly how much HP/torque the engine had, what kind of energy recovery they were seeing– even knowing what the various modes could do. And they had that information through the entire calendar year of 2014.

        And they showed up in 2015 with crap. They had a less reliable engine than Renault (which is saying something), with less horsepower. After two full seasons of complaining, but (hopefully) learning everything that was wrong with their engine, after getting the token system thrown out, and a chance to fix *everything* that was wrong with their engine, after finally getting the 2016 engine to the point where it would finish races and score points– they showed up with a crap engine that’s unreliable and down on power.

        It would be one thing if this was British Leyland we were talking about– or maybe Hyundai, who just don’t have experience in this kind of engine development. But this is FREAKIN’ HONDA!!!!!! The people who built the RA168 engine in the MP4/4. The company that is successfully competing in IndyCar RIGHT NOW.

        I know it’s not easy developing an F1 engine– I couldn’t do it. But I’m not a multi-billion dollar international corporation with a long history of making high performance engines.

    3. Alonso expects to compete at the highest level, not be a test driver for a manufacturer’s R&D so I fully understand his comments. If Honda doesn’t like it they can follow Nissan in LMP by admitting defeat graciously and packing their bags.

      Incompetence is nothing to really feel bad for.

    4. Totally disagree with COTD.

      It was Honda who made promises to Alonso in 2014 about their investment that made him leave Ferrari early.
      It was Honda who put up the cash to hire him.
      It was Honda who pushed Ron Dennis for Alonso’s signature (do you think Ron really wanted him back?)
      It was Honda who built terrible engines and couldn’t improve them despite more assurances of better engines.

      Honda have been around for long enough to know the game. If they cannot handle being pushed to improve and admonished when it doesn’t happen, they probably should stick to something a little less competitive.

      1. Alonso has been in F1 long enough to know that nothing is guaranteed in F1, it was a gamble.
        He’s getting a pretty nice salary, so I don’t see the issue.
        Alonso didn’t have to sign a contract, it was his choice.
        Honda has built three terrible engines, have improved them in the past and are working to improve them again.

        McLaren and Alonso knew the score when entering the partnership. And if there’s performance clauses as people expect, they can all go their separate ways, but they haven’t.

        1. “He’s getting a pretty nice salary, so I don’t see the issue.”

          So he’s supposed to just be happy with complete and utter failure?
          He’s a double WDC that narrowly missed out on 2 more. He expects and deserves to be in a competitive car. No amount of salary should make a driver content with a failure to compete. Alonso is paid his salary due to his value and abilities. McLaren and Honda should be able to do much better. And let’s all hope they do, soon.

          1. He’s probably got a performance clause in his contract, if he wanted to use it he could have, but he hasn’t. Everyone wants a competive car and there’s a lot of people that “deserve” one too, that doesn’t mean they get one though.

            So far he’s taken a bad gamble and if he really wanted to leave, he probably could. Until then though Honda are paying for his huge salary, so he’s just going to have to keep using their engine. Honda want to win and aren’t content with failure either.

          2. Who will care about salary when people will talk about legacy 10 years down the line? Everyone will remember that Vettel won ‘X’ more championship than Lewis or Alonso..

            1. @akshay-it, and yet, despite losing in those seasons Alonso’s reputation ended up being enhanced in those years, particularly when fighting Vettel for the title.

              It created a narrative of a great driver carrying his team to the brink of glory against a rival in a superior car that, in many ways, has overshadowed the reputation of those other drivers or even cast some element of doubt on the ability of those drivers – Alonso is seen as having nearly won despite his car, whilst Vettel and Hamilton are seen as only being that successful because of their car (there have been more than a few fans and commentators who called Vettel “a Newey champion” in that era).

      2. @kazinho – I can agree with most of that and actually think that Alonso has been pretty easy on Honda most of the time. He has had so much frustration and not all that many discouraging words.

        Really, would anybody believe Alonso if he was all sugar and nice, only saying how wonderful everything is? He would have to be a robot to go to every interview saying, golly, the McLaren/Honda/Chandon/Hilton/Castrol/Johnnie Walker machine ran really great for most of the race and for sure next race we will fight till the end and do a whole lot better!

        I have actually gained more respect for Alonso and the way he has dealt with this ongoing situation. He has been driving his a** off and scrapping wherever and whenever he can.

        1. @kazinho @bullmello I’m on your side of this issue. I don’t think FA’s expressed frustrations in the heat of the moment are doing all the dire things to the team that many posters seem to think they are. FA’s value on a team is unquestionable.

          I predict (perhaps it’s as much about hope than having ESP) that FA will be at Merc next year. I think Merc are racers. I think they will be in the best position to take FA in while he still has valuable years left in F1. This season is already presenting the possibility that Merc may have to go against their own preferred mantra, and may have to sway toward LH in order to not split points and open the door for SV…that is…if things keep going as they have so far in the season.

          I can see an LH/SV duo with VB a solid third on average, and this will inspire TW to want two WDC drivers next year to keep Ferrari at bay, especially if SV wins this year. Merc will want to honour FA’s final years, they’ll want to honour themselves as racers, and they’ll want to honour F1 and it’s fans by ensuring the very best drivers possible on the top teams, as F1 should be.

          This is nothing against VB who I think given time and a car will be great, but was always going to be on his hind foot against LH this season, but the timing is such that somebody is going to get FA…I can’t see Merc passing him up.

          1. Meant to say an SV/LH duel, not duo.

    5. On the car Alonso sounds a bit too strong but that’s natural. That said Alonso has sound cohesive off track this past weekend, and not that bad for the whole of this season. This story of refusing to finish the race, which is by the way illegal, that’s a bit low and it comes from Mclaren as well, not Alonso nor Honda. McLaren don’t deserve the Honda Pu but it’s not like they were “title fight” hampered by it last year, their Pu was stronger than year old Ferrari yet they finished behind STR. Actually they wouldn’t won it otherwise, they were also poor in 2014 with Mercedes. Overall I think it’s a bad situation, this season’s unreliability is inexcusable and in the end they’ve behaved well as a team, even though McLaren have put all the blame on Honda.

    6. “Ecclestone failed to invest in F1” – That’s putting it nicely. Funny how now Bernie has admitted to maybe overcharging Grand Prix venues and has suggested the new owners might want to charge less or renegotiate to benefit the venues. Wonder if Bernie would be interested in giving out some refunds out of his own deep pockets? Nah, didn’t think so.

      1. Depends which side of table are you sitting on…

      2. @bullmello, in one sense, there is something that he says which is true – he was instructed by CVC to go out there and squeeze as much cash from hosting fees as possible so CVC could offset their losses from bad investments in Australia. Bernie looks positively tame when you compare him to what some venture capitalist companies will do for money…

        1. anon – Of course it was also to Bernie’s own benefit as well. True enough about some VCs. In a way F1 is fortunate to have made it through the CVC era somewhat intact.

    7. Neil (@neilosjames)
      18th April 2017, 5:31

      My instinctive reaction to moaning sportspeople is to look negatively upon them, but I then try to consider how they’re actually feeling… and in Alonso’s shoes, the stuff I’d be saying would make him look like a saintly, innocent, newborn puppy. And I’d be at least as angry as he is.

      So I can’t find it within myself to criticise Alonso for what he says… and nor can I feel even a shred of sympathy for an entirely capable, technologically brilliant multinational giant that has totally and pathetically failed in its objectives every year since its return to a sport it used to be reasonably good at.

    8. In relation to COTD I’ll say again what would Senna be saying? Exactly the same.

      Honda came into this era a year later than the others, but rather than this being a disadvantage I feel they would have been able to look at what everyone else were doing and copy the best package, I.e. Mercedes. Instead they have screwed up royally.

      It reminds me of the last time Honda started a factory campaign with BAR in the early 00’s. I was sure they would be on the ball but it was never the case. In 2004 they looked Ok but both BMW and Mercedes had very poor years.

      Honda this time around have just been crap. Very glad Ron said no to Honda supplying RBR 2 years ago…

      1. Fukobayashi (@)
        18th April 2017, 10:36

        Had Honda supplied RBR two years ago I have no doubt the engine would have been leaps and bounds ahead of where it is right now. RBR is one of those teams that simply do not take midfield performance lying down. They have pushed and pushed Renault who are now on the verge of having a world class PU, not to mention all the extra data.

    9. It’s not just the racing and WDC/WCC competition which has improved.
      This year there is a lot more data, images, and news coming from the ‘pit’ during a GP weekend.
      And YouTube is now full of official videos on the Formula 1 channel. They used to put only some interviews on YouTube; now it’s full of racing action and they’re bringing back historical races.

      I’m impressed how quickly Liberty has turned the decay into a positive trend media wise, and very excited where they can take this.

    10. It is easy to find excuses to criticise one’s employer, it is another to come up with suggestions to fix problems and to improve the company’s performance.

      1. @drycrust I know Honda have shown themselves to be incapable of producing a decent enginein their time in F1, but I think even still, it would be something else entirely if a single person, a driver of the car, not an engineer, could make meaningful suggestions on how to make the terrible engine better.

        1. Exactly. I think people are mistaking the heat of the moment, adrenaline filled in-race comments from the calmer talk that goes on 99.9% of the rest of the time. I would suggest FA has been invaluable wherever he has been able to affect the car and it’s performance in areas other than the PU. There is ever possibility the car would be worse without FA’s input. We simply aren’t flies on the wall. To assume FA’s tone during a race is extended to the garage and factory is folly imho.

    11. “Some of the things that should have been done to support the events; marketing the sport better…”

      I heard a report on the radio today that Lewis Hamilton had posted an F1 related video on a social media platform and was asked to remove it by Liberty Media, which he supposedly did. I don’t know if this is true or not, but if it is then surely Hamilton posting a video has the potential to be good for F1. Wouldn’t it be in F1’s own interest (and Liberty Media’s interest as well) to let F1 people like Lewis Hamilton and the other drivers be allowed to post short videos to promote this series? For example, why not let each driver post a few minutes of race relevant to social media after each GP?

    12. “It’s not what we have done in the last couple of years but the situation is different now, so it needs a proper analysis of what it means and where we are.”

      There were few of them actually, starting from Malaysia 2013 and Brawn’s “hold station” to Nico.

    13. I’m happy enough for Mercedes to use team orders provided that if the boot is on the other foot, Lewis is also asked to move aside to let Bottas through if he’s clearly faster (and does so for the good of the team)

      If it works both ways then good on them. If it doesn’t, then they have to admit to having a clear No1 & No2

      1. I don’t like team orders unless the team clearly choses a #1 driver,
        and tell the #2: “But you’re is a Brazilian – so there’s not much to discuss.” :p

        1. Snow that would be an interesting Radio conversation lol

      2. @dbradock We already know from Australia that it doesn’t. There was no call to let the faster Mercedes driver past the slower in order to go after the leader as happened in Bahrain.

        Even though roles at Mercedes are probably all divided already, I find it weird how pundits are so eager for blatant team orders no. 1 and no. 2 style when we know the reaction last time it was used in Austria 2002. And this at the team that totally dominated last years? It’s just absurd.

    14. I think there is a strong possibility that Alonso is done, and that he is going to retire each time he cannot fight for points. Neither in China nor in Bahrain there was something visibly wrong with his car, I think he fights as long as he can, and when he gets passed and ends up 12th – 13th he just retires the car.

      1. It could also be that, given the frailty of the Honda engine, McLaren want to conserve the engine as much as possible. That way, if later on in the season they manage to become more competitive, they will have minimised the number of enigine-related penalties.
        And maybe, just maybe (putting on tinfoil hat here), Stoffel has the opposite assignment and he has to try and get to the checkered flag (even if it means not pushing the car performance-wise) so as to put accumulate testing mileage and data.
        Disclaimer: I am Belgian and quite frustrated my countryman’s talents are being wasted here, not just because he is stuck at the back of the grid (if his car makes it to the starting grid at all) and has no chance of any immediate success, but also because it gives a false, lousy first impression of his abilities and may ruin any future chances he may have in F1.

        1. Well not much you can save by doing 4-5 laps less. Besides that, even if Honda does improve, they will need to use new PUs. So keeping a supply of the old ones won’t help at all. In my eyes, Alonso prefers to have DNFs next to his name, rather than 12th and 13nth places.

          Basically at this time, they need improvements fast, I don’t think even getting a grid penalty matters anymore, so just need to get better reliability and some extra horsepower as soon as possible.

          Regarding Stoffel, he is highly rated, so I think all the paddock knows how bad this engine is. I doubt McLaren will stay with Honda for another year, so he will probably have his chance next year, possibly with Mercedes power…

      2. @afonic, there were replays shown during the Chinese GP that showed that the driveshaft was broken (you could see it oscillating up and down as he tried to limp back to the pits) and smoke coming from the left rear wheel hub. I can only assume that you must have missed them, because it was visually obvious that there was a definite mechanical failure in that race.

        1. No I didn’t see them. But I think in China Alonso did not go back to the pits, plus smoke from the left rear wheel could be the brakes. What about Bahrain then? No problem whatsoever, and Honda said so, by saying that they didn’t see something wrong with the engine, but Alonso felt “something wrong”.

          It is becoming more and more obvious he retired without an issue, and I guess we will confirm that in the next events, unless he manages to reach the top 10, which especially in Sochi should be out of reach.

    15. Alonso is just toxic. Awesome speed, but poor personality. Mercedes might hire him, but they already have an actual star driver.

      Despite what he does on track, all teams he joins go downhill.

    16. Gerulf Dösinger (@)
      18th April 2017, 11:06

      Riddle me this community: Do you want emotions and stories or should we go back to soulless corporate-puppets?

      Because, a while ago everyone was complaining that the drivers are mere loudspeakers repeating the sponsors prepared marketing-blurbs.

      Alonso shows no love for Hondas wreckage. Reaction: Get in line, Drama-Queen!

      Rosberg beats one of the All-Time-Greats and retires for his family. Reaction: Coward! Show you are a man!

      Hamilton wants no part in data-sharing so its more about the single driver. Reaction: Boo, be a team player ego-boy.

      I could write an endless list like this.

      This is a great time of stories, personalities, rivalries and emotions. So, again, riddle me this: Do you want fun or boredom?

      1. People on these forums always complain about something. I said a while ago, that the only worse thing F1 could do than not listening to the fans, is to actually listen to them.
        Just reading the comments here every day, it’s a bunch of thoughtless overreactions, one after another…

    17. Some level-headedness towards Honda would be very welcome at this point. After all, when RBR was in similar situation with Renault (i.e. good chassis but dramatically underpowered and far from bulletproof-reliable PU), both Horner and Marko received enormous pounding here on this forum for voicing their complaints, although they never went even halfway of what McLaren and their star driver in particular unleashed on poor Honda. The prevailing view here, if I remember correctly, was that Renault should quit supplying RBR and leave them stranded with no engine. And the voices defending RBR, saying that the team spent a lot of money to build a first-class chassis and was rightfully frustrated by Renault underfunding and generally poorly managing their engine programme, were usually met with “They don’t like Renault? Then they should build their own engine!” And that, may I remind you, was when RBR PAID for those engines, unlike McLaren.

      Now, when it is about McLaren, then it is somehow completely different. But it should not be. Honda is obviously working hard to fix their problems, and there is no other way to deal with it than to let them. They have resources, and they are obviously willing to spend a lot more than Renault ever were at that stage of development. F1 needs more engine manufactors, and just writing Honda off would do no one any good. McLaren simply has to be patient, no matter how frustrating for them the situation is. This is the bed they made for themselves, including their insistence on the exclusive relationship with Honda, which severely limited testing data available for the latter. They have every right to push Honda as hard as they can, but internally rather than in public and via press.

      And as for Alonso, I simply cannot recall any other driver in F1 history with such a record of publicly trashing his teams. He was in an open and very vocal feud with his team in 2007. He publicly criticised his Ferrari on too many occasions, even to the extent that Luca had to step in and ‘twist his ear’. He also called his strategists in Ferrari ‘idiots’ (later backpedalled into ‘geniuses’). Now back at McLaren, here we go again. ‘GP2 car, most underpowered car in my life’, etc. etc. Oh yes, that Minardi was mighty powerful alright. After joining McLaren for the second time, Alonso made a lot of public statements that he knew what he was doing, had no regrets leaving Ferrari, and has enough patience to wait for a success with Honda. He should stick to those words. Or if he can’t or won’t, Honda (who pays his salary) should let him go. His incessant whining does not do anyone any good, and it is definitely not making car any faster or the team morale any higher.

      When Michael Schumacher was enjoying absolutely terrible reliability of his Ferrari in 1996, after a year in almost bulletproof Benetton, he never on a single occasion badmouthed his team. I recall that after one particularly embarrassing retirement (and he had many of those that year) – when he took pole in Magny Cours but his engine blew up on the formation lap – he was asked by a reported how he felt, and his answer was ‘Well, from my point it is better to retire that early.” But then again, he also never said on the radio to his team during the championship-deciding race: “Ok, I quit now!”

      1. I think you are exaggerating the impact of FA’s comments throughout the years, and you are ignoring that in 96 MS had just had the mega deal of the century put together for him. He hardly had anything to complain about having been set up with mega pay, his crew from Benetton moved over to Ferrari with him, and a contracted subservient for a teammate, not to mention the desire of Bernie and Max to see him end the Ferrari WDC drought.

        1. No, no exaggeration, I only quoted a small portion of Alonso’s toxic comments. And as far as the past is concerned, I think you remember it wrong:
          1) Schumacher’s ‘crew’, namely Brawn and Byrne, joined Ferrary only in 1997. He has spent ’96 extracting unbelievable performance from Barnard’s hardly driveable F310.
          2) Schumacher was contracted for 60 million for 2 years, 1996 and 1997. Alonso receives 40 million for 2017 alone, and that’s for basically retiring the car and complaining till the kingdom come. Wanna argue whose is the contract of the century?
          3) If you believe VanDoorne has the same rights as Alonso in his contract, then… well, that’s up to you.
          4) Care to name a single occasion in 1996 when Bernie and/or Max gifted Michael with a win?

          1. Manule, I suspect that you have forgotten to account for inflation – if you do account for two decades worth of inflation, then it turns out that Schumacher was being paid quite a bit more than Alonso ($60 million over the years 1996-1997 works out to around $93 million today, or 15% more than you are claiming Alonso is getting).

            1. @anon
              Are you suggesting all Alonso needs to keep his moth shut about how bad his car is is extra 15%?

          2. @Manule The very fact that you are using the phrase ‘Alonso’s toxic comments’ makes your commentary an exaggeration. What was far more disturbing was MS’s behaviour on the track throughout his career.

            As to MS, this needn’t get into specifics, but I think anon has started to set you straight. It’s easy enough to check on the crew thing…just not going to invest the time at this moment. Not sure why Vandoorne has been brought into this. And your last point #4 indicates to me you truly don’t know what went on back then.

            Perhaps if you actually research what was going on you can start by asking yourself what circumstances lead to MS leaving, one year ahead of his contract running out, the team where he just won 2 WDC’s, to go to Ferrari where they hadn’t won a WDC in 16 years.

            1. To set the things straight, I follow F1 since 1991 and do not need to research what was the reasoning behind Michael’s decision to go to Ferrari, it all developed right in front of my eyes. And who and when went to work with him there. But that is not important right now.

              I see of course why you trying to steer away from the substance of the argument, I won’t go there further, but both Vandoorne and Bernie comments were direct answers to your remarks completely irrelevant to the subject matter. Because it is not about what’s written in your partner’s contract, or how much one USD was in 96, and it is not abut who earns more per year. If you seriosly think that had Schumacher been paid 40 mil in adjusted USD in 96, like Alonso today, rather than what? 46.5 adjusted?, then he would have badmouthed his car, told anyone and his dog that every racing weekend he finished several places above what his car was capable of, and called his race engineers idiots?

              Ok, not to veer off the subject, I will spell it out for you. It is all about the work ethics. Schumacher joined Ferrari, stayed with it thru thick and thin, never showed any disloyalty and was the team leader and team player, helping to keep the morale high. And they won, did what they set out to do, and did it as a team. Since then, several people claimed that they want to ’emulate Schumacher’. Vettel seems to be doing ok right now, but it is too early to say. And Vettel’s work ethic is similar to Schumacher’s. Now, Alonso is a totally different story. He joins the team on a high note, and by the end of his stay the morale is gone, sometimes leading to the early contract termination. And he is doing it again. He claimed he was going to work with McLaren and Honda towards winning championships, no matter how difficult that would be. But he did not man up to it, and, after 3 years, like in Ferrari, it’s all about how terrible the engine is, how slow the car is, how he is great and everything else is not. I’m sure the team is really happy to hear all that, it really helps to fix the engine (and probably the chassis too, we really have a rookie as a benchmark to say how good or bad McLaren really is). In 30 years, I have not seen any other driver saying these things once and getting away with it, and Alonso managed to establish a track record of such comments. If that’s not destroying McLaren team morale, than, perhaps, there is nothing left to destroy. Really, McLaren needs to let Alonso go and start with younger and more eager drivers. Worked for them before, working for Ferrari now.

            2. @Manule I reject in general your take on F1 and your recollections of things including MS/Ferrari.

              Specifically on FA I think you are trying to extrapolate his current situation to his tenure on other teams when they are separate things. You are also trying to portray FA as ‘publicly’ running his teams’ down, when in fact the worst of his comments are in the heat of battle on the radio, and those are only public comments when F1 decides to let us hear them, to create a storyline in F1.

              FA joined a traditional top 3 team that has become no better than bottom 3 for now it’s third season, to everyone’s surprise. He’s a proven Champion who has every right to be extremely frustrated and to state those frustrations to his team on the radio during the heat of the moment. It’s F1’s decision to air those and that is out of FA’s control, and when he is interviewed his commentary is much more diplomatic.

              Also you are conveniently forgetting even recent drivers and their commentaries that have been no better, such as SV in 2014 when he was ultra frustrated with his RBR, again mainly over the radio, and how about LH who in front of the world and the mic truly ran down his team and accused them of favouring Nico on several occasions throughout last season.

              FA may be no angel, but don’t insult our intelligence by making him sound like he is alone. And MS had more advantages hand over fist at Ferrari than any driver in the history of F1 before or since. Many drivers could have compiled the numbers he did under the same circumstances.

      2. Agreed +2

    18. I think next year, McLaren, Honda and Alonso are all going to go separate ways.
      Honda to Sauber
      McLaren to Mercedes
      Alonso to Renault

      Sauber will actually be competitive and may win points at few races
      Alonso will regularly mix it up with the top 3 teams
      McLaren will be the 3rd best or 4th best Mercedes powered team. Although comfortably ahead of Sauber, their claims of having a race-winning chassis would be found out.

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