Paolo Gentiloni, Sergio Marchionne, Monza, 2017

Ferrari “screwed up” at Monza – Marchionne

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In the round-up: Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne expects the team to bounce back at the next race after a disappointing home grand prix.

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Are grid penalties bad for the sport or good for the show?

Some seem ridiculous but they net a mixed up grid, interesting recovery drives, and reflect team decisions within rule book and driver style. I say keep them.
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  • 77 comments on “Ferrari “screwed up” at Monza – Marchionne”

    1. I’m a huge Honda fan, but isn’t it obvious? Honda and Renault should collaborate to improve both engines, the Renault is a big step up, but still not enough for F1 victories against a healthy merc or ferrari….

    2. You made you own luck Ocon. Podium Is not a easy task.

      1. correct
        I was expecting Ocon (& Stroll) to make the most of this opportunity, but in the end they wern’t much ahead of their team-mates ….

    3. Mercedes were clearly on the back foot on the start of the season, they called the car a diva but they reacted very quickly, their PU was upgraded for round 5 and the new aero package resolved the understeer, from then onwards the car has looked flawless, it’s only Monaco and Hungary that don’t suit their car at all, most of the time you look at the car and it looks to be hooked up on the road, particularly on Hamilton’s hands.
      Ferrari on the other hand, sometimes look to have missed the window on the tyres or something else, their form fluctuates from session to session, their race strategy is not bullet proof, sure Monza and SPA don’t suit Ferrari but sometimes you look at their car or one of the drivers and you see the car is not hooked up. Shanghai, great pace but they made a strategic mistake, Silverstone at times great other times way behind, Spa, looked better in practice particularly Raikkonen, Monza they looked to be running a lot of wing but RBR were quicker on s2 than Ferrari and in the rain.
      Shamefully I admit had there were no penalties the race would’ve been a bust.

      1. Raikkonen is becoming a liability. Which is even more paradoxical when you think about the fact that he wasn’t really as slow as he was in 2014 and 2015. But he just keeps failing to deliver. He isn’t slow, in quali at least, but race after race, he just never seems to be able to make it happen on Sunday. Thinking about it, coming second, behind Vettel, in Hungary, seems to be his biggest achievement of late, and that says a lot.

        1. No he is not. Vettel was third and he was fifth…max. he could have done was 4th..he is doing perfectly fine…Drivers are not the issue. Ferrari messed up with car on Saturday and then their setup in dry was also not ideal..

      2. Marian Gri (@)
        4th September 2017, 6:55

        +1

      3. No penalties and Max and Daniel would make it even more interesting. Red Bull would not pose a major threat to Hamilton but their battle with Ferraris would be glorious.

        1. Ferrari dodged a bullet. They were 2nd to Red Bull but the penalties saved them. 5th would have been very painful for Vettel.

    4. As bad as Honda is, this time I have to say that switching to a non-works partner (and without any hope of becoming one with Renault), this is an extremely bad decision, and one which symbolizes the difference between Ron’s leadership, and Zak Brown’s, chairmanship, shall we call it. No vision, no guts, no risk, just steady sailing, and appeasing the board.
      What exactly is Brown’s plan? To become a “good enough” team? They were that back in 2014 with Merc engine, but McLaren is not supposed to exist to be just good enough. It’s supposed to think big and do things perpetually mediocre teams are not capable or willing to do.

      Honda will eventually come good, and if they have to wait for one or two more years, that’s better than being static in the upper midfield, with no prospect of growing towards something bigger.
      If they go with Renault, all of this will be for nothing, and Red Bull will just pick up Honda in a year or two when they come good with Torro Rosso. It will be all pain and no gain for McLaren.

      In short, I think they should stick it out and reap the rewards in a few years.

      1. You make some good points. However, I think its rather unfair to criticise Brown. He has his key targets and has to maintain his commitment to Mclaren’s share holders.

        You would think Honda will eventually come good, but when though? Brown mentioned in his post race interview Sky that its the same couple problems that keep cropping up. Its a bit of a shock to think they havent quite figured out how to solve them.

        I would give Honda one more year. They went through a fundamental change in their engine layout for this year, the issues they are having is due to that. Mclaren pushed for the “size-zero” concept, so the blame has to be shared.

        You are right in saying that going to Renault is a short term goal. If that does happen, I wonder how they will hang on to Alonso. Surely they cant pay him the same salary without Works backing.

        1. I think Alonso would be taking a pay cut if he left McLaren for another team, or for IndyCar (or something else), which sounds likely if they stick with Honda. So it’s quite likely that Alonso would accept a smaller salary from McLaren.

      2. If this were one year ago I would’ve probably agreed, but it seems we are past that stage of “you can only win as a works team”, and I think that is reflected in the interview with Alonso. Honda have had over three years of development now (bear in mind they started not that long after the others and had an extra year before they arrived in F1) and they’ve basically nothing to show for it.

        I would think differently if they had made some visible progress, but they’ve not even sorted the reliability, and they’re still going backwards compared to the competition. Waiting one or two more years was what they said one or two years ago. Even if they get things going much better in two years, they’ll always be on the back foot playing catchup with the others. By then it will be 2019, and in 2021 there could be new engine regulations, and would you trust Honda with that again?

        McLaren wasn’t a ‘good enough’ team in 2014, they were already mid-field because of their chassis. If they are confident they have that sorted out (and live up to the claims of having one of the best chassis on the grid), then Renault is the obvious option. Renault engines in a customer team have won at least one race in 3 out of the 4 seasons so far (or 2 out of 2 since Red Bull actually became a customer), and they are making clear progress with a seemingly alright strategy. Obviously it is unlikely for McLaren to win world championships with Renault engines, but being ‘good enough’ is pretty important from a commercial point of view. They have lost almost all of their sponsors because of their lack of performance, and there are a whole host of shareholders who are no doubt getting impatient.

        1. @strontium

          Funnily enough, Brown mentioned yesterday they’ve signed on some new sponsors for next year, so thats quite interesting.

          @socksolid
          Going to a Renault engine will improve Mclaren’s competitive image, but can they win a championship? Could it also be that the championship isnt a near term concern? Like I said before, Brown’s main goal will be to put Mclaren back in the fray, i.e. being on the podium at the very least. This will improve their brand image significantly. Earlier in the year, he mentioned that its getting to a point where Honda’s financial commitment to the team cannot offset the loss of FOM and marketing/sponsorship revenue. The joker here is Alonso. If he accepts a lower wage, which is pretty much his only option, perhaps the whole arrangement with Renault will work out.

      3. Honda has failed for many years. Ferrari and Renault have built race winning engines. Ferrari could win the Championship this year.

        Honda (and perhaps their partnership with honda) has organizational problems. Those will need solved before the engine can be fixed.

      4. In the end both options have pretty clear advantages and disadvantages.

        Going with renault means you pay for the engines. With honda you have engine manufacturer backing. This is a huge change in income. With renault you end up paying tens of millions for their engines whereas with honda they pay mclaren tens of millions. Including alonso’s salary. Financially it could be huge change for mclaren. They can afford it but is it worth it?

        The renault engine is clearly far superior compared to the honda. The renault is still 2nd rate engine behind the ferrari or the mercedes engines but far better than the honda. It also hurts mclaren’s image and reputation as a road car manufacturer when their f1 cars are slow and unreliable. And their chassis is fine as proven in hungary for example. The engine is the only part that is weak.

        Will honda improve? It would be hilariously sad if they could not improve. But still they really haven’t. But you need to ask the same question from renault as well. Will renault improve? Yes. From raw performance perspective it is clear the potential is with renault as well. Only thing honda can offer is money. In the end it is whether you choose 2nd class performance from renault or 1st class monetary support from honda. It is not about visions anymore. Honda’s visions have been proven to be just dreams. Renault offers clear performance benefit.

      5. I agree. I admired Ron because he has the vision and guts to do it. The works team wins the championship is already proven by history and I fear McLaren resigning to be customer team is the day they become Williams. The team that called “top team” because people are polite but everyone knows in their head that they have no chance at all. If Ron is still in control, I think what he’d do is keep Honda until he get a deal for another works engine as he has done in the past. Remember this is the man that prefer getting newcomer Lamborghini or Porsche instead of Renault or Cosworth in early 90’s before finally they get it right with Mercedes.

        2015 McLaren-Honda project is a failure, there’s no doubt about that. But as McLaren fan, I prefer they continue with Honda in 2018 or suddenly get BMW, Audi, Porsche, or whatever engine that still makes them works team instead of basically resigning as the team who feels occasional podium as race wins.

        I feel bad for Zak Brown though, he will be the guy that get blamed in the end, unless by some miracle McLaren can be championship contender with Renault.

        1. @sonicslv, with new engine regulations due to enter into effect in 2021, no new manufacturer is going to join now because, by the time they get up to speed, they would have to change their designs anyway.

          It feels more like Zak Brown trying to make the best of a bad situation by going with Renault as an interim solution – he probably feels that, the longer that McLaren spend trailing around at the back of the field with Honda, the lower their chances that they will ever get that factory deal you want to chase.

          I’d also say that there is some heavy rewriting of history in your post there, because Ron originally did try to get a customer Renault engine, before then buying in the Ford customer engine as an interim arrangement whilst he looked for a new partner. A deal with Renault now is effectively the equivalent of the Ford deal in 1993 – an interim arrangement that gives the team something to work from in their efforts to secure another manufacturer.

          1. Mercedes = Car Company = build there own engine
            Ferrari = Car company = build there own engine
            Renault = Car company = build there own engine
            McLaren = Car company = wheres their engine

            Very very simple ,if McLaren are serious about remaining in F1 and returning to the top its time McLaren anteed up and developed their own F1 engine full stop.

            1. But Zeke, McLaren don’t actually make anything, they are assemblers, and their road car engine is made by Ricardo. They have nothing like the engineering infrastructure to manufacture their own PU, and sub-contracting to a third party would be horrendously expensive..

            2. You are 100% correct about their road car programme. Hindsight is a good thing, they should have stuck with Merc or gone to a european based outfit like Cosworth. Obviously Rob did not foresee he was going to be ousted. Look at red bull eventually showing good results with a below par renault.

          2. + 1. I think Honda have had long enough really. They have not really shown any sign of consistent improvement. They have gone backwards compared to last year. Renault represents the best interim solution until 2021.

          3. I can see the appeal of going Renault because of the regulation situation and it does make sense in short term. Honestly I can’t blame them if they want to go that way. However Renault is still a bad decision for me because now Renault engine designers need to accommodate 3 big teams: their works Renault team, RBR, and McLaren. Either they will accommodate the need of 1 team (and certainly it won’t be McLaren) or they tried to accommodate all and we know it will be a mess. Renault itself managed to go backwards in this year first spec, so there’s no guarantee engine won’t be the main headache if they did pick Renault next year.

            What I fear the most is, during 2018 to 2021 when new works engine is much more feasible, the team morale and ethic dropped low enough to make them true mid-fielders just like Williams. McLaren already in dry spell since 2013, maintaining the top-team morale will be tough, you going to need people who still remember and longing for the old success years to drive that and I don’t see McLaren has key personnel for that.

      6. Marian Gri (@)
        4th September 2017, 7:39

        Was thinking the same thing. On short term, securing a Renault engine is better, especially for ALO (cause his F1 carreer is approaching the end fast and he wants better results), but on long term do not think it’s the best move for a McLaren team that wants to win on regular basis and become champs again too. Signing Renault, they’ll just go back to the 2014 situation of having a customer engine, only worse, because they won’t have the best customer engine anymore but the 3rd best customer engine. With Honda they’ll have a works engine, thing is when it’ll become performant. Hard decision indeed.

      7. Would have to disagree with you. I think the importance of a ‘works’ partnership decreases with more engine development stabilisation. Most of the major gains have been found in the Mercedes and Ferrari PUs, and now they’re looking for very marginal improvements in performance. Being a customer in 2018 is nowhere as big a disadvantage as it was in 2014.

        On your point regarding Brown vs Dennis, I think you’re not being fair on Brown. He’s making a pragmatic decision based on Honda’s performance so far. There is absolutely no sign of Honda turning things around anytime in the near future or even in the long run. They have consistently failed on every front of their engine development program for 3 years in a row. They are cancerous to any team they join and they will systematically destroy 60 years of McLaren heritage within a few more seasons. Even if Ron was still team principal, I expect him to be intelligent enough to ditch Honda.

        Switching to Renault might be damage limitation, but it takes courage to own up to the decision that Honda was the wrong way to go. McLaren need to do damage limitation up until 2020 and then evaluate their alternatives. One thing is for sure, that Honda is a terrible short term solution and probably an even worse option for the long run. They just aren’t Formula 1 material.

        1. @todfod I share your view of the situation. There are now three full seasons left under the current engine regulations, Renault should improve in performance and reliability for 2018 – yes they were a long way behind Mercedes in 2014 and did not match Ferrari’s development in ’15-16, however the gains have been coming and on Sundays the Red Bull as a measure is proving competitive (reliability still sucks). Once the engine regulations change again for 2021, McLaren should have more options.

          The business concept of sunk-cost comes in here, irrespective of how much McLaren have lost or invested in going with Honda for the last three seasons, that has to be ignored in making this decision that is really for the next 3 seasons. Switching to Renault has the potential to offer Alonso a much more competitive car for 2018 and a shot at the WDC in 2019/2020 when PU performance should have converged, and what will probably be the latter seasons of his career.

      8. You may need a manufacturer engine to win in F1, but Honda is showing zero evidence of being the manufacturer to do it with.

        Their 2017 engine is simultaneously less reliable and less competitive than their much-maligned “size zero” engine. Hasegawa has said at least 3 times this year that they have worked out the problems and the next version will fix it, and each time it’s more of the same: down on power and unable to make even half the duty cycle required to avoid engine change penalties. Face facts, they are getting worse, not better, and show no sign of changing that trajectory.

        Those who think they “must come good” are thinking too much of the 80’s and 90’s and not enough of what has happened in the 2000’s. Events from a quarter century ago do not prove that Honda must inevitably become champions now. (Put this in perspective: at least a 3rd of the drivers on the grid weren’t born yet the last time Senna won in a Mclaren Honda.)

        Switching to Renault may make them a “just good enough” team for the next several years, but the alternative is to stick with Honda and continue to be a “not nearly good enough” team.

        What stuns me is that Honda’s board of directors hasn’t decided to cut their losses and put this engine program out of its misery.

      9. I’m afraid McLaren is entering the “Williams state”. They look like a mid pack team for the foreseeable future, in the league of Force India, Williams and Renault. The car looks well designed and maybe a Renault engine can make them fight Red Bull…

      10. Honda deal was sealed under Whitmarsh, not Ron Dennis. Please aim your superlatives at Whitmarsh.

    5. Th DJ gig not going well, eh Sergio?

    6. Screwed up is an understatement, being a Ferrari fan this weekend has felt utterly depressing. They went to Monza having shown such a promising pace in Spa, and they could hardly match the Mercedes pace when the Mercs had their engines turned down. But at least the race was fun to watch, partly down to grid penalties.

      I agree with comment of the day. Grid penalties are not ideal but they are the fairest way to do it. Nobody is put out of the competition, and there are no fines that would hit the smaller teams worse. I would personally like to see relaxed restrictions on making 4 power units last a season though. It’s very clear that, at this stage, it’s not really feasible, so they shouldn’t have change the rules from allowing them 5 (if the calendar is 20+ races) per season. Another way to limit the damage is to give 3 places instead of 5, for example. This way they are still penalised, but a few component changes will send a driver back, rather than to the very back. And I’ve long thought the same of gearbox penalties: it doesn’t seem right to penalise a driver 3 places for causing a crash but 5 for needing a new gearbox.

    7. ThierryBoutsen
      4th September 2017, 1:28

      Very few of us out there do not have preferences on drivers or teams and what we want is real racing, competition, excitement, no matter where it comes from.
      Oh god, I really miss the 80s where midfield (and some former top) teams like Leyton March, Tyrrell, Benetton, Brahbam, Lotus were close competitors and had a shot on every single race for podium positions.
      Historically speaking, I really don’t care about RBR as much as I do for the other two. Both Williams and McLaren need to find something to be back on track and competitive again. Real contenders.
      And surely FIA must do something to attract more manufacturers, “old friends” like BMW, Ford, Peugeot etc. or “new kids on the block” like VW group, Aston Martin etc.
      This Mercedes and Ferrari customer era REALLY SUCKS.

      1. I’m quite surprised BMW isn’t taking a bigger interest in the 2021 engine regulations. They are now supplying McLaren Automotive’s engines (the road cars), and if Renault is a short-term fix for McLaren then it would be surely a brilliant commercial move for BMW. However, I suppose there are so many ways for manufacturers to prove themselves now without needing an F1 team to do it.

        1. I think they’re all waiting to see what happens with the 2021 engine regulations. As Dieter Rencken pointed out in Autosport article after Porsche pulled the plug on its LMP1 program, going to FE does not mean that they aren’t available to F1. BMW dont have a top level motorsport program at this stage, they may be in the same boat.

          Manufacturers go racing for a number of reasons: Marketing, R&D and honing engineering capability (which acts as a training farm for their engineers). At this point in time, FE is only ticking the marketing box, the R&D and Engineering sides have not been exploited yet. Of course, it will become more liberal in future, but not to the same extent to F1 as it stands.

          I hope common sense will prevail for 2021. The engine needs to make sense. Bernie was right, these current power units may be engineering marvels, but they aren’t practical and are too expensive for commercial application. Something simpler like a 4 pot twin turbo with KERS/conventional hybrid system with no MGU-H appears to be in favour.

          1. @jaymenon10, the chassis designers would hate that four cylinder configuration though, as you’d probably have to ditch a full monocoque design and go back to a less efficient semi-stressed design.

            As for BMW, they’ve already made clear to the ACO that they didn’t want to enter the LMP1 category as they wanted to compete on the cheap, hence why they’ve entered the GTE class instead. BMW have also nailed their colours quite firmly to the electric racing mast – they will be entering Formula E (in partnership with the Andretti Racing team), and only wanted to compete in the prototype class at Le Mans if the ACO allowed electrically powered prototypes.

          2. It’s more likely to be along the lines of the current 1.6L V6’s with twin-turbo’s and no MGU-H. That should add sound, reduce complexity, cost and be similar in power output.

            1. They’ll never sound as good as Monster Trucks though!

      2. I really miss the 80s where midfield (and some former top) teams like Leyton March, Tyrrell, Benetton, Brahbam, Lotus were close competitors and had a shot on every single race for podium positions.

        Brabham & Lotus were only podium/win threats when they had the best engine which also brought them the best drivers (Piquet & Senna). When they lost there engine advantage and/or driver they both fell backwards & were never anywhere near the podium.

        And Tyrrell, Layton House/March & Benetton were similar although were only ever really in contention for a podium if the usual front runners hit issues.

        People look back at the 80s as a time when the field was close & where a dozen teams could score podiums/wins, But in reality that was never the case. The gaps between teams was larger than it is today, Wasn’t uncommon for the top 10 to be separated by 5+ seconds in qualifying & it also wasn’t uncommon for all but the top 5-6 cars (Sometimes less) to finish the race on the same lap.

        The only difference between then & now which allowed the mid field teams to sometimes finish higher than they otherwise would have is unreliability or on odd occasions a situation where circumstances allowed a team to score big. For example when you had a tyre war & Benetton found that there Pirelli’s were producing more grip & were more durable than the GoodYear tyres at Mexico in 1986 which helped Gerhard Berger to a win.
        Under normal circumstances when the top teams/drivers finished the mid field teams stood less chance of finishing towards the front than they do today because on pace they were much further off.

        1. @gt-racer, this is what I am talking about. Unpredictability was a major factor back then, this is what it made it so memorable (for me at least as I never had any personal preference). Plus, let’s not forget that on several races within the 80s, most dominant teams were struggling on quite a few tracks and more often midfield teams were in the front rows, both in qualifying and the race. I can’t remember that specific race right now, but I surely remember Ivan Capelli with Leyton overtaking Prost twice and then Senna but sadly he retired afterwards. Which proves that the major thing in F1 is the car and its setup.
          If you combine this with the reliability factor, which nowadays is close to 100% (Hondas and Verstappen’s car aside), you have a really boring aftermath where it’s quite easy to hail somebody as “god”.
          After 2000 or so, this is exactly the case with F1.

    8. This is an extremely obvious statement, but when a grid penalty system moves you up the grid then something is seriously wrong. Additionally, Alonso had a grid penalty (35 places) that is larger than the field but didnt start at the back.

      Today underlined the problem even more than McLaren’s 80+ grid spot penalties at Spa.

      Hopefully a casual/potential new fan did watch today!

      1. Edit: DIDN’T watch today

      2. @johnnyrye I’ve always found it odd how they apply the penalties. As you may know, they do it in chronological order, so in Alonso’s case he had already got his penalty before others did.

        The best way to do it would be to apply them all at once, 30 minutes (or something) before the race is due to start. Any places that then clash could be decided by either:
        • Who has the bigger penalty
        • Who originally qualified ahead
        (One scenario gives the higher position to one driver, the other scenario gives it to the other driver, but it would be consistent at least).
        The remaining drivers can then all be moved up accordingly, and the grid is finalised. Any further changes after this should start from the pit lane (which I think may already be the rule)

        1. @strontium
          I knew there was a chronological formula, but to be honest haven’t paid too much attention to the details because it only effected a few cars at most on any given weekend.

          I’d prefer to see the biggest penalty be at the back if that’s what it means (20+ places) and take out the issue of when they were declared by the team, although just before the race removes some of the gamesmanship the team could play. Tie-breaker relies on qualifying.

          Another point I was going to be frustrated with, had Hamilton not gotten the fastest time, was that Verstappen wouldn’t have been credited with the pole because he had penalties. As DC used to oversay “on this day in history…”. If a guy is the fastest, he deserves the credit for the pole! Yes, I’m aware of Monaco 2006 but that’s a sporting issue and not a technical one.

      3. Perez qualified 11th. He got a 5 place penalty on the starting grid. He started the race in 10th.
        Chaos is a ladder!!!

      4. @johnnyrye
        I would be more than happy with grid penalties if 35 places literally meant 35 grid spots.
        If Alonso genuinely had to start half way round the Parabolica, with others dotted down the straight at appropriate gaps based on their penalties that would have been fine with me.
        Qualify 11th, get a 5 place penalty = start from 16th grid spot (or as close as possible).
        Qualify 20th, get a 20 place penalty = start from the 40th grid spot.
        It’s not hard for someone to go measure it out on the morning of the race.

        1. This is inspired!

    9. The grid penalties I hate. At Spa some drivers might as well have started the race from the ferry terminal at Zeebrugge. It’s killing the sport, there has to be a solution to this.

      1. Any car using a 5th (or over) power unit element is no longer eligible for constructors points. Problem solved.

        1. Problem with that is that the mid field/back of grid teams rely on scoring points to finish as high as possible in the constructors standings in order to earn prize money. You take away constructors points from them & your then hurting the very teams that the long life component regulations were brought in to help.

          The reason they went with grid penalty’s rather than points or financial penalty’s was because they wanted something that would act as a deterrent to the top teams throwing in a new engine after every session but that also wouldn’t hurt the mid field teams.

    10. And still some choose to believe Lewis and the British press when he moaned last week that Ferrari has the better car. Sigh. This championship is his to lose. Let’s see what happens in Singapore.

      1. Gamesmanship

    11. The grid penalties did give us another great RIC show as he picked his way through the field with some epic overtakes. As the front two ran away, I was on the edge of my seat watching RIC chase down the Ferraris. Ran out of tyre in the end; VET was likely just managing the gap – but still, I was enthralled.

      1. Totally agree. The front of the race was not interesting at all. Watching a good driver come through the pack is 1) more interesting to watch and 2) a greater test of driver skill. I’m all for smart strategies and car management but cmon, watching the Mercs at the front cruise along for the entire race was utterly uninteresting.

    12. Oh no, Marchione has started to open his mouth.

    13. Grid penalties booooo!

      Honda really are in dire straits. No performance no reliability.

      Meanwhile Mercedes is showing up last years domination again.

    14. And to think- just a few years ago, Mclaren had a proven championship winning engine in Merc and decided to ditch them for Honda.

      Some say there was no knowing Honda would be dreadful. I beg to differ. Mclaren had all the telemetry, Power, Tork, MGU-K deployment data- the lot- to compare with the Honda PU. That they decided to go full steam ahead really does say something.

      The Captain of the Ship when that decision was made is none other than Ron Dennis- so I am not in the least surprised that his fellow shareholders gave him the boot. With Mclaren improving their chassis significantly there was noway Ferrari/Merc were going to supply them.

      Lets hope that with the fresh leadership Mclaren can be back- otherwise they are heading the way of Williams if they are not already there.

      1. Mclaren had all the telemetry, Power, Tork, MGU-K deployment data- the lot- to compare with the Honda PU

        The decision to switch to Honda was made in 2013 before they had run or had any of the data on the Mercedes V6 so they had none of that data when they did the deal with Honda.

        Additionally while it was expected that the 1st year (2015) would be a struggle, Nobody expected the struggles to carry on at the level they have for as long as they have. Renault & Ferrari have both made progress & are closer to Mercedes than they were in 2014 & it was fully expected that Honda would show similar progress.

        The problem & what nobody could have expected is that all of Honda’s R&D & Bench-test data has been completely inaccurate & that has seen them constantly going down the wrong development paths making hardly any real progress. On there dyno in Japan the 2016 engine looked reliable & as if it was producing similar performance levels to what there estimates showed Ferrari were at, However when they put at engine in the back of a car on track they found they were lacking reliability & were nowhere near the performance levels they were expecting.

        The data correlation issues is something which they have only fairly recently got on top of & it now appears that there simulation & dyno test data is matching or at least close enough to what there actually seeing on track to give them trust that they can move forward. They have also been getting help from ilmor which has seen some further progress been made.

        That last paragraph is actually whats causing some delays at McLaren as far as what to do going forward. They know what ilmor can do as they worked closely with them when they had Mercedes engines, They like that Honda are taking outside advice & can see that progress is now been made back in Japan thanks to that ilmor help.

        What i’m hearing is that McLaren will do a 1 year deal with Renault for 2018 with Honda moving to STR. McLaren won’t sever ties to Honda & will retain an option to switch back in 2019 should Honda show real improvement.

        1. What i’m hearing is that McLaren will do a 1 year deal with Renault for 2018 with Honda moving to STR. McLaren won’t sever ties to Honda & will retain an option to switch back in 2019 should Honda show real improvement.

          This I would have thought would be by far the best option for them (I had suggested this on another forum!)

          Ofcourse, back in the 80’s, McL didn’t take on an unproven Honda engine – it had been sucessfully developed by Williams & Honda for several years

        2. “What i’m hearing is that McLaren will do a 1 year deal with Renault for 2018 with Honda moving to STR. McLaren won’t sever ties to Honda & will retain an option to switch back in 2019 should Honda show real improvement.”

          That’s what I’ve suspected for a while, too. It makes sense. With the data correlation now under control, the MGU-H issues apparently sorted out, the ICE now arguably on a par with at least Renault, and no more major shifts in direction scheduled, it should be steady improvement from now on. Taking a year out will allow McLaren both to assess their chassis against other teams’, and Honda’s ability to deliver that improvement: i.e., was it just a case of teething troubles, albeit highly protracted, or is Honda simply inherently incapable of producing a competitive PU?

        3. What i’m hearing is that McLaren will do a 1 year deal with Renault for 2018 with Honda moving to STR. McLaren won’t sever ties to Honda & will retain an option to switch back in 2019 should Honda show real improvement.

          So what’s in it for STR/Red Bull @gt-racer?

        4. @gt-racer

          “Additionally while it was expected that the 1st year (2015) would be a struggle, Nobody expected the struggles to carry on at the level they have for as long as they have. ”

          The whole program was announced with rose tinted glasses and for once it was the fans, who were saying on forums that it would be at least 3 years of testing, who were right.

      2. Captain of the ship was Martin Whitmarsh. Anyone remember him? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here.

    15. I know what I suggest is practically impossible with multiple start light gantries and so forth, but lets assume there are 100 grid slots in a circuit. Then based on Saturday’s qualifying results and grid penalties, Ricciardo will start from 23rd slot (3+20), Sainz will start from 25th slot (15+10) and Alonso will start from 48th slot (13+35). This will give meaning to huge grid penalties and make teams think twice before stacking grid penalties.

    16. I believe there is only way to make the penalties work, and the route to do so is to give a penalty to the team and not necessarily to the driver.

      How to do it? Lets say that each car has the 5 parts allocated, while they are within those 5 units, the constructors points that they get are added to the their tally accordingly. As soon they go past it, they only get a percentage of the points.

      For example, lets assume a drivers scores 10 points in a race and he is still using one of the 5 allocated units, that would add 10 points for the constructors championship. If those 10 point were scored with a 6th unit the team only get 80% of them, just 8 points for the championship. And so on, if they go to the 7th unit, 70% of the points, etc etc etc

      1. @johnmilk Problem is that a system that takes away points is going to hurt some teams a lot more than others & its going to be the teams that can least afford it.

        Red Bull for instance can easily take points penalty’s now as there nowhere near the teams ahead & have a big gap to those behind. They could easily willingly take new engines every weekend & the advantage a fresh engine gives & not feel the penalty.
        However Williams or Force India are in close fights with those around them & any loss of points is going to hurt them come the end of the season if it costs them a spot or more in the standings.

        Additionally if its unfair to penalize the driver for issues outside of there control then how is it any more fair to penalize the team? Outside of the 3 full manufacturer teams & the manufacturer backed McLaren all the others are paying for there engine supply, It’s no more the fault of the team than an engine, gearbox or something needs changing as it is the drivers (Although sometimes a driver can damage a gearbox or something in a crash).

        1. @gt-racer It won’t be a loss of points. They will start scoring less points as soon as they use non-allocated units

          Red Bull for instance can easily take points penalty’s now as there nowhere near the teams ahead & have a big gap to those behind. They could easily willingly take new engines every weekend & the advantage a fresh engine gives & not feel the penalty.

          It wouldn’t be an advantage if they kept refreshing their engines, as they would effectively be able only to score a percentage of the potential points from that moment on.
          If RedBull would started to pile up the engines they would reach a point where by finishing in the TOP 3 would give them as much points as finishing P10 until the end of the season. Allowing the teams behind to close in

          However Williams or Force India are in close fights with those around them & any loss of points is going to hurt them come the end of the season if it costs them a spot or more in the standings.

          Isn’t that the point of a penalty system? We can’t penalise just on paper, they have to feel it, otherwise they will exploit the rules

          If a team uses 6 components for example. they would only score 80% of the points from that moment on, not only for a given race.

          Additionally if its unfair to penalize the driver for issues outside of there control then how is it any more fair to penalize the team? Outside of the 3 full manufacturer teams & the manufacturer backed McLaren all the others are paying for there engine supply, It’s no more the fault of the team than an engine, gearbox or something needs changing as it is the drivers (Although sometimes a driver can damage a gearbox or something in a crash).

          It would still be better than what we have currently. If you don’t want to penalise the team nor the driver, what can we do to make them stop using too much engines? Or are you saying to penalise only the engine manufacturers? Most likely the client teams have some sort of clause in their contracts against engine failures (take 6 pay 5, gearbox included, engine mapping debugging), so I don’t see a problem here, and at the end of the day it is their responsibility for the choices they made by selecting one or other engine supplier

    17. I don’t think the booing at Monza was intended as bile and Hamilton understood this hence the engine comment. In Italy, Ferrari is god, anything else is the panto villain.

      The booing from a few years ago directed at Vettel and later Rosberg was the unsporting kind, this was not that kind imho.

      1. It wasn’t. In one occasion it came after Hamilton said “Mercedes power is better than Ferrari power”. It is just how sport goes. The drivers can’t show emotions, imagine if fans can’t either

    18. Surely a Honda/mclaren split will be awesome for redbull. If toro Rosso take the Honda and it finally comes good. Redbull will surely take that contract and become the de facto works team… if Honda continue to fail they will keep the Renault…. win win

      1. @azzimus The last i heard it wouldn’t be a full split & McLaren would retain an option on Honda so if Honda were to come good they would take up there option & it would be upto Red Bull or anyone else to do another deal for themselves.

    19. But we will be back in Singapore.”

      that….sounds scarily di Montezemolo-esque, judging by how things often turned out after Luca said it.

    20. McLaren have had such a torrid last 3 years, moving to Renault gives them much needed stability. They wont win a championship, but they might win a race. Its good for the McLaren brand, keeps Alonso, scope for broadening into other motorsport formulas like indy500 or Le mans. Come 2021, McLaren can hopefully line up an engine deal to take them back to the front.

    21. I have consulted the Oracle: She says, “stick with Honda, it will be good.”

      1. @baron

        I’m pretty sure that’s Agent Smith in her disguise.

    22. Would never want to have a boss like Marchionne. Total micro-manager, mouthing off about the drivers and the car and the team and everything all the time. Really undermines Arrivabene on race day.

    23. At least when Ferrari go backwards it’s a break from the inevitable “Alonso must really regret leaving Ferrari ” comments

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