Is it getting better? Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you – Now you got someone to blame?
This may well epitomise the relationship between the once dominant Red Bull Racing and their record breaking power unit supplier, Renault.
Meanwhile at McLaren Honda, “there are no cracks” in the relationship, says Eric Boullier.
You say, ‘one love – one life’
When it’s one need in the night
It’s one love, we get to share it
It leaves you baby, If you don’t care for it
Unlike Red Bull Racing, McLaren realise they need to pursue their love affair with Honda, because there are no other options. Boullier reveals, “At every level of the McLaren-Honda organisation, in engineering, technically, there is an absolute, one-team cohesion”.
Did I disappoint you? Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love, And you want me to go without
Honda’s success in F1 was a long time ago, and for now McLaren must be patient and do without a race win for another season, as the Japanese manufacturer comes to terms with the demands of modern F1. There have been some huge disappointments for McLaren following claims by Honda that they were a mere, “40-50[hp] behind Mercedes but about 25 ahead of Renault”.
And with just five races left this year, another Honda expectation appears to be going up in smoke. “I have confidence that the second half of the season, we will try hard to catch the top two teams… I want to be close to the top teams by the end of the season,” claimed Arai-san.
Well it’s too late tonight, To drag the past out Into the light
We’re one, But we’re not the same
We get to carry each other, Carry each other
Any relationship requires commitment, given that we are all unique. And McLaren recognise as Boullier insists, “They [Honda] have committed to McLaren and Formula 1 for a very, very long time…. It’s a real long-term commitment, and they have reiterated this many times.”
That said, from McLaren’s perspective, the commitment is born out of having Hobson’s choice. As big Ron has repeatedly said, “Our goal is to win the world championship, and that objective would not be within our reach if we continued with a customer engine”.
Have you come here for forgiveness, have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus, to the lepers in your head?
Did I ask too much, more than a lot?
You gave me nothing, now it’s all I got
Alonso has been a little outspoken about what he described as “GP2” power levels in his Honda engine. But maybe the Spaniard is not really asking for ‘more than a lot’ after all.
Then again, others would suggest it is the ‘lepers’ in Alonso’s head which have caused him in the past to speak in a vociferous fashion against his team, and he is now getting his come comeuppance.
We’re one, but we’re not the same
We hurt each other, then we do it again
Week after week McLaren fans suffer the pain as they watch their heroes retire or simply get blown away by a Toro Rosso. One look at the constructors table which reveals McLaren are 320 points behind Ferrari and 191 points behind Williams should be enough to start some jumping from the McLaren Honda embossed windows at the MTC.
One love, one blood
One life, you got to do what you should
One life, with each other
One figure in the MacHonda love affair has come under a repeated and sustained attack from the F1 media at recent race weekends. Arai-san, head of Honda motorsport and R&D.
Eric makes it crystal clear that McLaren believe in him and are prepared to carry him through this time when he is battered and bruised.
“Of course, he is under pressure”, notes Eric. “But then F1 is not easy, especially when you are coming from another culture, and it’s very dominated by an Anglo-Saxon culture, so it’s not easy to do things differently”.
So despite too many disappointments, a whole year of hurt and a few minor public recriminations.
For now, McLaren Honda are…