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McLaren Stand By Costly Honda Divorce

McLaren Stand By Costly Honda Divorce

McLaren say they do not regret cutting ties with engine suppliers Honda, despite the move costing them an estimated $100million.

The Woking-based outfit reunited with the Japanese manufacturer in 2015 but terminated their partnership after three years following a string of poor performances and reliability issues.

However, having blamed Honda for all their on-track problems, a switch to Renault engines has not yielded a huge upturn in fortunes, prompting McLaren to make major changes to the F1 team’s management during the 2018 season.

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Meanwhile, Honda has signed up to supply Red Bull from next year and hopes are high within the Milton Keynes outfit that their power units will help them to challenge for honours in 2019.

The whole episode is understood to have cost McLaren a small fortune due to having to pay for Renault units and the loss of Honda’s financial contribution.

However, chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa says he still believes the split was the right move for the team. “On the one hand [we are] frustrated, on the other we are committed to this,” said Sheikh Mohammed.

“The way we were heading [meant] a change was bound to come. “Tremendous respect to Honda, but the relationship wasn’t working so we had a civilised discussion and we decided to part ways.

“It was an expensive decision for us but it was in the long-term interest of the company. So, we don’t regret the decision.”

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