We’ve certainly heard McLaren suggesting that changes need to happen and happen quickly or they may have to seek alternatives for a power unit supplier. The issue is, Honda may be their only option for 2018 according to a report at Autosport.
The article doesn’t identify its sources but it does say that Ferrari and Mercedes aren’t interested in supplying McLaren and here we are back in the same spot we were with Red Bull when neither would supply them due to fear over instant competitiveness. I was very critical of this situation back then and it was my understanding that the FIA was making changes that would lock the suppliers in to supplying teams and not picking and choosing who they want to help be competitors.
For McLaren boos, Zak Brown, the main goal is to move forward with Honda but it has to improve:
“We’ve spoken with Honda about a variety of different scenarios,” Brown said.
“We ultimately think that Honda can get the job done, they have in the past.
“We need to make sure the development comes at a faster pace.
“We’re starting to work on our 2018 car now and you can only go so far before you need to know the architecture of what you’re doing.
“So I think around the summer time, which obviously isn’t far away, we need to finalise what we’re doing with Honda moving forward.
“We can’t continue to be uncompetitive – that’s not what McLaren race for.
“It’s been three years, so we need to see some drastic power adjustments or some different ways to get there.
“We, like Fernando, want to be winning races and being on the podium and in the current state we can’t do that – so some things need to change.”
The other option the article mentions is Renault but supplying four teams may be more than they want to manage and it does seem like a lot from an outsider’s perspective.
This is the issue with power units so complicated that few can make them and two of the four won’t supply teams they feel may become too competitive. Time will tell but Honda seems to be the most logical choice.
Hat Tip: Autosport