Jumat, 17 Juli 2015


Fernando Alonso scored his first point for McLaren-Honda at the British Grand Prix. That one sentence sums up just what a dire situation that team are in at the moment.
It has taken nine races for a man many regard as the best driver in the world, in a team that has the target of winning championships, powered by an engine produced by one of the world's leading car companies, to score a single point.
It became obvious at Silverstone that cracks are appearing in therelationship between McLaren and Honda - just seven months into a 10-year contract.
When the partnership was announced, McLaren chairman Ron Dennis talked of repeating the domination of the last McLaren-Honda era in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
But this Honda is not the same as that Honda.
On and off track there is more competition now. Back in 1988, when McLaren-Honda won 15 of the 16 races, only Ferrari had a turbo engine, but it wasn't as good as Honda's and Ferrari's drivers were not as good as Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
In the road car marketplace, Honda has been overtaken by Nissan and is now the third-biggest Japanese manufacturer, not the second.
Back then, Honda used their racing programme to filter through engineers so they gained experience. It was very much an engineering-led company. Now, its ethos seems to have shifted.

If you look across motorsport, Honda is struggling everywhere except the British Touring Car Championship.  Honda does not seem to be the same company with the same racing spirit it had in the past.
Honda only started developing this F1 engine just over two years ago. Mercedes worked on its turbo hybrid F1 engine for four years before the rules changed in 2014. That lack of preparation by Honda is showing.
It is quite clear to everyone in F1 that the Honda engine is responsible for the vast majority of McLaren's performance shortfall to Mercedes.
I suspect Honda realise that, too - if they do not, they're blind - but there is not a lot of evidence so far that they know how to fix it.

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