Deadline this week: Honda board struggle to decide whether to stay in F1

Sources in Japan have revealed a difference in opinion between the board members of Honda and Honda’s Motorsport manager Masashi Yamamoto.

It is likely that conclusions about Honda’s involvement in F1 will be decided this week. However, it is said that the formal announcement will not be held before the Singapore GP.

“Prior to coming to the Italian Grand Prix, I have had numerous meetings in Japan” says Yamamoto.

“Including a meeting with members of McLaren and I have repeatedly talked with Mr. Yago Takahiro, (Honda’s President) discussing the various options we have before us”

Initially, it was rumoured that decision time for Honda would be after the Italian GP set at 18:00 on 3rd September. Honda would supply Toro Rosso with a power unit and McLaren use the Renault that Toro Rosso used. Unfortunately Honda couldn’t arrive on a decision after several meetings during the Grand Prix between Honda, Renault, the FIA and FOM.

Yamamoto has also revealed to the Japanese media that from his opinion Honda won’t leave F1. Furthermore he confirms that other teams want to race with Honda’s Power Unit but the Honda board members are somewhat opposed to this. In fact the board say that they accept Honda’s F1 project but only with McLaren and that’s why Honda refused to supply power units with Toro Rosso and RedBull mooted back in August. If they can’t continue collaboration with McLaren, there is a possibility that the board members will put a veto to the engine swap with Toro Rosso’s Renault with the obvious consequence that Honda would withdraw from F1 altogether.

Rather strangely and perhaps further cementing evidence of the board’s opinion of their relationship with McLaren, it has been requested by the board that Senna era Mclaren-Honda images should be used for an up and coming Honda advertisement campaign.

So it seems then from Honda’s point of view (for now), it’s McLaren or bust.

11 responses to “Deadline this week: Honda board struggle to decide whether to stay in F1

  1. –but the Honda board members are somewhat juxtaposed to this
    In a spirit of attempted helpfulness, not criticism, I think you mean “opposed to this”. “Juxtaposed to this” means “placed next to it for contrasting effect”. 🙂

  2. So now it’s become a pissing contest between Alonso and the honda board?

    I still hope that they stay at mclaren.

    No need to give away a works deal to your closest competitor – in terms of the way both Red Bull and mclaren work.

  3. Honda evidently hold their historical success with McLaren very close to their heart. Kinda understandable but, equally, their insistence on “playing with the big boys” is a tad laughable given their golden age was soooo long ago.

    This from a company that until recently – for the best part of a decade – had completely foregone the sale of any roadcar with even the slightest sporting intent. No, Type R Civics do NOT count.

    I want Honda to succeed but their history and their high self-regard don’t mean sh!t to anyone else except them right at the moment.

    Right about now, Honda is as good as their last race…

  4. This “McLaren or bust” attitude doesn’t serve anyone right. Holding on to (what I see as) failure with McLaren doesn’t change anything: McLaren already mounts enormous pressure on Honda, it cannot do more. A new season McLaren-Honda would mean more of the same.

    However, Honda leaving McLaren would create some breathing space. Torro Rosso, although not a top team, is absolutely no bad team. If they do alright: fame for Honda. If not: meh… If Honda does good, then the next season the Honda’s will get their space in the RedBull’s. If RedBull manages to become worldchampions with either Max or Daniel.. that would create a Senna-esque situation: success story for years. I don’t see that happening with McLaren. (or if Stoffel takes the top step.. maybe. But I don’t see that happening)

    If Honda isn’t good enough for Torro Rosso: although the world’s reaction would be “meh..” Honda should really scratch behind their ears whether they would really like to continue to pour million per year into this project.

    • Torro Rosso is just a satelite team and I’d think the board wants a equal partnership at least.

      The Torro Rosso option is a nice one for a manufacturer that starts in F1 for the first year, but with 3 year experience it would be in the back of McLaren or RB (or Williams) or leave F1.

      Yamamoto will face a difficult task to explain why nobody will have their engine together with 40 million dollar to the board.

  5. McLaren should stick it out with Honda, and give FA his walking papers. Honda will get it right sooner rather than later and 40 mil to help with the budget doesn’t hurt. With Renault they will be a midfield team and have to pay for the privilege. With Honda they can win, just a matter of patience. Zak Brown is an idiot if he dumps Honda. The sky isn’t falling yet.

    • does hurt is running at the back and having no sponsors. Also what does hurt is not having any top pilot in the team (which is also request by Honda and which is why Honda pays half of salary for Alonso) – both for results and for sponsors. What does not hurt is hatred for Alonso forgetting that Alonso is free to walk out of McLaren but it’s McLaren who need to survive (not Alonso) with that “sooner than rather later” engine at the back

    • I disagree with the assumption that Honda will get it right eventually based on past success.
      Their last F1 engine was not a success, and was considered over weight and under powered.

      Today’s engine is still under powered and unreliable. Granted they have had far less time for development especially considering how wrong their first design was.

  6.’s engine by now should be either powerful or reliable – one of these situations would allow some time to survive, get some points until other parts are sorted out. What Honda has now is 0 power and 0 reliability, where even 3BHP increase (like reported about 3.7 spec introduced in Monza) hurts reliability even more – this should not be acceptable first of all for Honda itself (not talking about McLaren or fans).

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