Honda Red Bull

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.

29 responses to “Honda Red Bull

    • Totally wrong – Alonso is a driver, being payed a lot of money – he has luxury just to walk away (retirement, Indy, RX – you name it) – any how dreams about winning third title seem to be unreal. McLaren meanwhile need a top driver to get sponsors (even Honda has same requirement) not talking about results. Name a few top drivers who could replace Alonso in McLaren in 2018 – there are none at the moment. Even Sainz (their B option without Alonso) is not available and would have gone to Renault long time ago if he was. Of course you can try to prove that Vandoorne is as good as Alonso (even though results are far away from it)

    • really. A winning car won’t win without a winning driver and the other way around. Both elements are equally important. I don’t think Alonso will get his though. It’s a shame as I’d really like to see him up with the youngsters but unfortunately I think he doesn’t have enough time in F1 left. If he goes away that’ll probably be the end of his F1 career and honestly, even with Renault, I don’t see him or McLaren (for that matter) fighting for victory next year… Honda did the same thing they did last time – disappoint. Not sure what’s the root cause of their problems (even Honda don’t or else they’d do everything to solve it) but Honda just doesn’t seem fit for F1 at the moment. Sad but true.

      • Probability of Red Bull allowing Toro Rosso to use Honda engines in 2018, could solve the issue as Honda will stay in F1 ,Mclaren will benefit from the Renault engine and Alonso would stay with Mclaren .IMO this could be the most reasonable compromise .I believe all those concerned about the welfare of the fans should put an effort to see this through especially FIA

        • Honda do not want Torro Rosso. It would be a mid level team (or bottom team if Honda fail to deliver again in 2018). That’s the big problem. Going to Torro Rosso would be a failure for Honda. They loose face if they are not with a top team. Honda says they are in F1 to train their engineers, but apparently not finishing races with TR is less honourable than not finishing races with McLaren.
          Honda, for the third time in a row, has failed in F1. First when they were working with Verstappen sr on their own team and ditched the plan (not competitive), than the BAR/Brawn fiasco. And now this. They would be better off leaving and not to come back for a very long time.

    • It’s like saying that the passengers of a sinking ship need this ship far more, than the sinking ship needs its passengers.

  1. I think you’ll find Mclaren are desperate to hold onto their engineers and talent! They dont want what happened to Williams after BMW left to happen to them (although its nearly happening) they need to be seen to be at at the top, not only to attract sponsors but also to attract talent, and future manufacturers) Its more about survival then keeping hold of Alonso! If Mclaren had a winning car, they could put any of the 22 drivers in and still win, as seen with Mercedes! Alonso getting the blame but he is not a magician! Mclaren simply want to get rid of Honda who are not interested in winning any time soon!

    • I am afraid that McLaren is already a new Williams. Even the last two seasons when McLaren had good engines (in 2013 and 2014) it couldn’t do anything interesting with them, spending most of time fighting teams like Lotus and Force India.

      • Damn Right.

        In 2013 And 2014 All They Got Was 2 Lousy Podiums.

        Since 2011 They Always Dumped The Wrong Driver.

        Their Last Interesting Year Was Also The Last Year Of LEWIS There – I Wonder Why ?


        • > Even the last two seasons when McLaren had good engines (in 2013 and 2014) it couldn’t do anything interesting with them, spending most of time fighting teams like Lotus…

          That’s a bit harsh.

          In 2013 Lotus got 1 victory and 14 podiums.

          In 2013 McLaren got 1 fourth place and zero podiums.

          When did McLaren fight Lotus in 2013?

          • Sorry, But This Reply Of Yours Was Misplaced.


  2. fault clearly lies with the HONDAs top brass as they refuse to accept help from outside…. reports in spanish media state that even the supposed help from Mario Illen is being ignored, even mclaren offered help with the electronics and honda decided it was not necessary…. I cannot understand how they allow such shame come to the company and keep being stubborn…. if they had taken outside help/talent i am sure they would have improved over the coarse of these 3 years…. after soo many years there really is no excuse for producing a dead horse of an engine they are producing…. they have made soo many promises and have not been able to deliver on any of them…. i wonder what does the Japanese culture say about promising something and not delivering time and time again….

    • They did have outside help during the first couple of years. A man called Gilles Simon. I think he’s been recruited by the FIA recently as Technical director but his previous placement was at Ferrari where he worked initially under Paolo Martinelli before taking over as engine design chief during the Schumacher era – so great provenance.

      Honda wouldn’t listen to him…

  3. McLaren is a trophy company for the current owners. They own the team for the perceived prestige they think it brings them. While the lack of performance from Honda is clear to every one – denigrating Honda in public at every opportunity you have isn’t how a professional organization operates. Whenever the engine issue is resolved – the next move should be to get rid of Brown.

    • Do you work for Honda PR department? Otherwise I see no reason why somebody should backlash McLaren side when they’ve been for three years in jeopardy mostly just because of Honda. McLaren is a car company, which needs F1 as a marketing tool – same like Ferrari. Sitting 9th in Constructors cup helps to sell a lot of cars probably. Nobody from McLaren (except Alonso when needed) was publicly criticizing Honda for two long years but (if you accidentally haven’t noticed) things got even worse this year with engine. Put your money into McLaren – they you have right to tell them to wait – otherwise it’s up to McLaren owners to decide what to do.

      • I don’t work for Honda. But I do know how business works, and trashing a partner in public isn’t what a professional organization does. Especially when that partner is handing over $100M a year to you, of which a significant percentage pays Alonso’s salary.

        Then the McLaren brain-trust figured Ferrari or M-B would supply them. How did that work out? Now they are reduced to begging Renault for the worst engine of the main manufacturers. An engine that from reports I’ve read will always be one spec behind what Renault or Red Bull use. Even with the Renault engine, McLaren will be at best mid-fielders. McLaren’s management look like amateurs, and it also looks like the team is imploding.

        And if you seriously think Ferrari’s road car sales are tied to its F1 performance – you are sadly mistaken.

      • Ferrari doesn’t need F1. Its legacy around all the world was built on long distance sports at racing with the likes of the Testarossa, 250Gto and 250LM – all cars that regularly sell for tens of millions.

        It’s easy to believe F1 is the centre of the world but up until 1973, Ferrari’s F1 effort was always compromised by their participation at Le Mans.

        If you think of today’s biggest market for them, it’s the USA, followed by China, neither of which has any particular interest in F1.

        Back in the 90’s McLaren introduced the F1 believing that their heritage was sufficient to sell all 350 cars they had planned. They sold, I believe 106, and made a loss on the whole programme, why? Because McLaren meant nothing to non F1 fans.

        McLaren do need success to build their brand, Ferrari do not.

  4. Specifically Regarding MCLAREN,

    Putting All The Blame On HONDA Engines Is Unprofessional And Stupid.

    In The Next 2 Years, After LEWIS Left The Team, They Had MERCS Engines – Some Of The Best In The Business – And What Came Out Of Them ? – 2 Lousy Podiums In 2 Years.

    Seeing Established Names Like **BE**, **RD** And HONDA Leave The Sport Voluntarily Is Disgraceful.

    All Of Them Have Money, Brainpower And Should Stick To F1 No Matter What Until They Get It Together, However Long It Will Take.

    Starting A New Team From Scratch Or Buying A Lower Team Should Be A Priority – Do Not Get Mad, Get Even.

    Specifically Regarding HONDA And Forgetting For A While Their Successful Involvement In MOTOGP,

    A – JAPANESE Are A Proud People, Seeing 1 Of Their Most Iconic Brands Giving Up Without A Fight Is Not An Option,

    B – Todays And Tomorrows Car Engines Are Hybrid Or Fully Electric – Being Unable To Show A Reliable Product Let Alone A Competitive One Is Not An Option, Either – What Are They Saying To Their Potential Customers If They Give Up ?


  5. motogp allows less competitive teams unlimited testing, Honda should be allowed to test unlimited in F1 in order to close the gap further. Don’t know if y’all realize, but Honda is closing the gap top leaders from 2015 season times, but they are extremely limited with data because of exclusivity deal with McLaren. Do let them test and they will figure it out.

  6. Like motogp allows less competitive teams unlimited testing, Honda should be allowed to test unlimited in F1 in order to close the gap further. Don’t know if y’all realize, but Honda is closing the gap top leaders from 2015 season times, but they are extremely limited with data because of exclusivity deal with McLaren. So let them test and they will figure it out.

    • They have been able to test their engines in F1 from when they ditched McLaren in 1992 to the test ban coming in, in 2009. I don’t recall any Honda product being fit for purpose in those years. Overweight, under powered and fuel thirsty.

      They had the perfect storm in the 80’s.

      First, the Europeans were cosy in the sport and didn’t panic when Honda came in. In 1983, they were shocking. Slowly, they built their engine into the dominant unit, but their opposition was BMW who were diminishing their involvement, Renault who were in transition and the Ford DFV, practically the same unit from 1967.

      Even the McLaren and Ferrari teams were falling behind with Tag engines and a patriarch who was nearing the end of his life.

      Between 1986 and 1992, the best chassis were Williams and McLaren, pedalled by such names as Piquet, Prost, Mansell and Senna; surely a roll call of the eras greatest?

      Since then the Europeans have learnt lessons and Honda will never repeat the magic of a quarter of a century ago.

  7. you said it, One point though MCL is not a car company rather than an assembler, taking pride of building a car with different engines? and how would you feel being bad mouthed by a person thar you are feeding, ol dos ***holes at MCL esp Brown and the prima donna, hate dos over ego guys

  8. been at the top bcoz of having engines also rated to be at the top, and not all cases remember schumi vs hakinen, they have MB engines still falls second to ferraris at admire RBR since they had renaults, their engines rated to be lower than Ferrari and Mercs,still won the championship and putting a great fight til nw, let’s see what dos high pissing creatures from MCL can do now that they got Renault

  9. like cupcakes they do always, they seem to be in good harmony.. BoullDog, BrownIE and zooALo.. dts it, they belong to 1 big family.. disgusted at how you treat your “partners”, dragged them into the sit, setting zero parameters to build on, acting like they wer very good at what they do, dt its the fault of who, heck even at monza with their gearbox failure, calling the drivers in and saying guttingly disgusted..WTF

  10., that is why the AMG Mercedes got sick of McL being second to ferrari despite having powerful engines and chose to put up their own works team…Y don’t McL ask the great compatriot BMW to make a comeback and be their partners?? I bet, even BMW known for its super engines can’t make a hybrid turbo that can compete at the likes of Mercs and Ferraris given a period of time that the HONDA did manage to come up with the a respectable engine at its first season only to start again a new concept in 2017..Y don’t these morons doesn’t see it that way.. they want results right away as if McL was the most dominant figure in F1 and that they cant take not seeing it in a podium, heck if that is the case they just have to build their own hybrid PU, reasoning out that costs are too much? but can navigate any financial help from HONDA split?, Ignorance can kill.hahahaha

  11. Pingback: Ricciardo 'blackmails' Red Bull using Lewis - RB Honda announcement - thejudge13·

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