It really should be no surprise that Mclaren has finally announced that they will be pulling the plug on their partnership with Honda in favour of Renault. This after Honda has time in and out proved that their motor not only lacks power but is even less reliable, a deadly combination. Resulting in just Mclaren-Honda duo scoring just 11 points this seasoning, finding themselves in ninth place overall in the constructor’s standings, just ahead of Sauber. Proving once in for all that it’s usually not a good idea to hook up with your exes.
The last three years have been made even more disappointing since most of us saw Mclaren’s performance in less power-focused circuits like Hungary proving that the Mclaren had one of the best chassis on the grid. “It’s part of Renault’s history to supply engines to great teams,” said Abiteboul. “Irrespective of what we do, whether we are a works team or we don’t have a works team, that is what we do. We have 13 years of relationship with Williams, 12 with Red Bull — all of them very successful. It’s never been done in history with Renault, this McLaren tie-up, so that’s something that we’re very proud of.”
More importantly, Renault has no problem being asked third, since we all know that Mclaren went to Mercedes and Ferrari and was turned down in order to avoid the risk of being grossly outperformed. “Absolutely (we are prepared for McLaren to finish ahead of us), I think that we have to accept that,” said Abiteboul. “We are not exactly in the same position as Mercedes and Ferrari. We are aiming to — that is where we want to be in a couple of years’ time, but we have to accept that, for the time being, we are playing catchup in every single aspect. Engine performance, chassis performance, driver strategy also. So, to a certain degree, the strategy that we have today has to be slightly different.”
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