FIA President Jean Todt has written a letter to Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo explaining that everything should be done to keep Honda in Formula One.
As was reported yesterday by TJ13, Honda’s board in Japan had a meeting earlier in the week and are set to decide whether to stay in Formula One or leave with their tail between their legs. It is understood that as far as Honda the car manufacturer is concerned, it’s McLaren or nothing.
However, the attempts by McLaren’s Zak Brown to keep hold of their start driver Fernando Alonso requires a Renault engine deal until the next set of engine regulation come into play. Whether they then keep the Renault or do something different is pure speculation. For now, Fernando’s chances are slim for staying in F1 if McLaren cannot get shot of Honda.
Brown also refutes the common argument that Honda will remain with the team because the Japanese contribute a substantial portion of their racing budget, including the salary of Fernando Alonso:
“McLaren must be able to win again. This must be the focus of the decision.” admits Brown.
“The decision is complex, and, of course, the economic side also plays a role”
In a rather un-Zak Brown kind of way he finishes with saying that “we’ll look after the economics later. “
“Whether or not he [Alonso] stays with us depends on his assessment of how competitive we will be in 2018. Regardless of the engine. The negotiations are ongoing… But you must always have a Plan B and a Plan C. And they have [Honda] both. ”
So where do we go from here? The board at Honda do not want to leave the sport in the rather dishonourable fashion of failure and McLaren are refusing to use their engine any longer.
The deal with Red Bull that disintegrated earlier in the season could well be back on.