Ecclestone: "McLaren won't be any happier with Renault"

Published on 13 Sep 2017 10:52

Former F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, has predicted that McLaren's imminent switch to Renault engines will not make them any happier than they were with Honda. Honda have failed to power McLaren to anywhere near the success that the team wanted, with the best result they have achieved in two and a half years three paltry fifth places in what has been the teams longest stretch without a podium.

However with the switch to Renault engines it is expected that they will at least be semi competitive again, with the aim probably being to be at the top of the midfield at least, and challenging the likes of Red Bull for third place in the constructors table and the occasional podium and even win in odd circumstances such as Daniel Ricciardo's win in Baku earlier this year.

It is also expected that the Renault switch will see the team's star driver and two time world champion Fernando Alonso stay with the team, after struggling through three uncompetitive years with Honda power. It has been rumoured that Alonso issued the ultimatum of either he goes or Honda goes, something that he staunchly denies.

However Ecclestone's claims could be a painful truth for the Woking outfit, having swapped the 4th best engine in F1 for the 3rd best. The Renault engine although clearly not as bad as Honda's attempt is estimated to be some way off the likes of the Mercedes and Ferrari engines, with it being estimated to be roughly 30BHP down on the two front runners, and clearly having much worse reliabilty, with 105 places of engine penalties this season compared to Ferrari and mercedes' zero.

Ecclestone said this on the matter of the very probable move: "The Renault deal is all done. Alonso staying is super news, but I can't see why McLaren will be any happier with Renault than they are with Honda. It wasn't Honda's fault things didn't work out, it was McLaren's. Every day they had a fight about everything, instead of working with them, which was a little bit stupid."


Sam Gale


Replies (29)
GB talktohenry 13 Sep 2017 11:150
Posts: 285
They will because, they are thinking, they will worst case be where RB are in terms of speed, and hopefully way more reliable even taking into account MV's breakdowns, this year!
Posts: 142
bernie blaming Mclaren just shows where his head is at

Mclaren didn't make turbo parts exit through the exhaust, seals fail, low power, high fuel consumption etc etc etc.

poor design, poor management. all hondas problem.
they dont deserve to stay at all.
they spoiled the three way fight we might have had all because they are 5 years behind.
Posts: 135
When Honda started powering McLaren in the current era, they were 2.5 seconds off the Merc pace, now after all this money and effort they are still 2.5 seconds off the Merc pace, but succeeded in making the engine even more unreliable!
The Renault engine in the RB goes pretty well and I'm sure next year will go a lot better.
Anyone (apart from Bernie) with a brain would get rid of Honda F1 power ASAP
NL mclarenfan1968 14 Sep 2017 12:420
Posts: 1014
Ofcourse but armchair experts would have you believe Honda is about to win races next year let alone be even worthy for a podium on merit.
NL BeeDeePee 13 Sep 2017 15:030
Posts: 460
Mijn engelish is not goed butt i wil trij to do it eniewee.

I sink is goed to partie tees boos komphanies so hev @ liest a sjort infuans in meanteaning a klier vission tat hes a sollit wel fundamentet stetigy. Utherwijs joe ar beeing fukked in thee ess wen joe bent over ...
Posts: 7
Is English not your first language then???? 🙂 Well said though!
Posts: 625
Yaz Engrish ist phantbulozsie dumkopf.
SE calle.itw 13 Sep 2017 16:380
Posts: 4236
Love how people say "they havent progressed". Utter nonsense. I can fully agree that they havent improved enough, and as a Honda fan I am disappointed. I know they can change seasons around quite drastically given the opportunity. Heck I've seen it as late as this year in Super GT. HOWEVER... The same things people say about Honda, can be said about Renault. 4 years in this era, and alot less fresh in the sport, and... this is where they are? 30+ hp away from the second best unit? And arguably the least reliable engine on the grid? And they wont even upgrade the engine more (yeah, Renault offer great services for sure... Ha, HAHA... ABITEBOUL!) Switching to Renault is just like getting vaccinated against the Swine flue only to get narcolepsy from said vaccine.

Either way, I dont think this year is a good reference for the next year. Both Renault and Honda chose to revamp their platforms quite significantly for this year, but even so its a clear indication on that both of them need to step it up. We have at least 3 years left with this formula.
Posts: 501
Exactly! People like to talk about Honda being 3 years into the project with nothing to show for it. Then what exactly does that say about Renault? They've had much, much more track time over the last four years with RBR, Toro and their own team - and they have very, very little to show for it, and it's basically only the RBR chassis that is making them look decent. Both Toro Rosso and Renault are struggling to say the very least. Then when you add in the reliability factor, with 2-3 times the testing that Honda have had, it makes this move mind boggling to say the least.
SE calle.itw 13 Sep 2017 17:220
Posts: 4236
It is, and it will be a much more expensive deal for them to boot. Not only do they lose the Honda sponsor cash, they have to pay to get out of their current deal and pay to sign with Renault. Surely that cant bode well for next year's spec. And speaking about sponsors: their current fight with Renault over BP is, I predict, pretty much over now. Whom would you choose? a works team or the team said works team give engines to? Pretty obvious decision, IMO.
Posts: 262
@calle.itw @mbmwe36 I agree, undoubtedly the argument can be made that Honda should be performing better, but the same argument can definately be made for Renault, they started their development earlier and as mentioned have alot more data from tracktime. The underperforming PU cannot be the sole reason for the split, something else must be festering in the relationship, maybe McLaren thought they could bark orders at Honda and maybe Honda were expecting more of a dialogue. I think Honda will get their act together and then buy Toro Rosso and with James Key there it could turn out to be a great team.
Posts: 625
Bark orders at Honda? If anything McLaren deferred to Honda for far too long. McLaren probably expected (incorrectly in hindsight) that Honda would come up with something workable. They didn't. Now the naysayers insist that it was McLaren "forcing Honda" into a "size zero" PU design philosophy. This is all total BS. Honda went radical and got it 180 degrees wrong and this is the result. As an PU
Posts: 625
Sorry, as a PU customer McLaren would take a more passive role regarding design and implementation and to blame McLaren for dominating the relationship to the point of failure is nothing short of risible.
SE calle.itw 14 Sep 2017 16:200
Posts: 4236
Thats all very well, but you forget that both Honda and McLaren has confirmed that it was in fact McLaren that requested, not forced, Honda to produce a compact engine, and Honda gave them what they asked for, even if it wasnt what they desired. It takes two for the tango regarding them entering in 2015 instead of waiting one more year. As for McLaren being passive, well... They've hardly kept it a secret that they wanted more insight in what Honda did with their PU. I mean, look at some of the comments Dennis issued. As for Honda, well, I think they wanted something like what they had with Bar in early 2000's and Jordan before them.
Posts: 501
I agree with Bernie. I think in 5-10 years we will think of McLaren the same way we do Williams. A once great team, now fighting to be best of the rest.
Now I know some will say, that if the Renault engine doesn't work out, they can always get a Mercedes or whatnot in 2020, and it'll all go back to normal, they'll be a top team again. I'm not so sure it'll work like that. Unless they start winning races, and be a serious championship contender, they'll start bleeding their most talented people to the absolute top teams, and it'll be hard to attract absolute top talent to the organisation. We've seen it countless times with football clubs that goes into a tailspin. It is ridiculously hard to get out of. As a works team with Honda, I believe they could've turned it around - now I'm not so sure
SE calle.itw 13 Sep 2017 16:450
Posts: 4236
I agree, I find this quite worrying. Even more so because of that potential 3 years deal. If they, somehow, would like to switch during those 3 years, they would have to pay their way out, but they lack the cash to do so now.
Posts: 625
Completely agree that the major risk is 'forgetting' how to win. However, i think McLaren had reached that stage before Honda. Question: How come Paddy Lowe was poached by Mercedes and let go quite quickly? No-one has asked that, after all his last designs for McLaren were disasters, and now, he's at Williams who are also hoping for a design miracle. If he was any good a) he would have resigned a winning car for McLaren and b) Mercedes wouldn't have let him go. What's this to do with McLaren Honda? Just a demonstration that once you lose the art of winning, you become a loser.
GB talktohenry 13 Sep 2017 17:470
Posts: 285
Only a matter of time before Mc Laren build their won engine after all this, as they now realise, they won't ever have results stability relying on an outside partner/engine manufacturer. They need to be winning to sell cars, just like Ferrari.
Posts: 135
Agree entirely and now the rules are there, though not quite in concrete, I expect McLaren have already started on their F1 Engine
SE calle.itw 13 Sep 2017 18:130
Posts: 4236
I disagree. McLaren doesnt even have the facilities nor the resources to build their own engines. How would they build their engines then? Sure, they could rebadge engines, and Im sure they are considering it, but that would be more expensive for them than just being a customer team. And as of now, McLaren is very short on cash. In short, if McLaren will build their own F1 units, it wont be for another while, and they will certainly not be ready for 2021.
Posts: 501
That's not gonna happen. Like Calle says they lack the resources, first and foremost. Secondly, why is it a given that they would do a better job than Honda and Renault? Everything being equal, I would say they would be a distant third in that battle.
With 2020 rules, it should be easier. But then you could make the argument that they would probably be better off choosing one of the independent supplies that is expected to enter F1 by then.
Posts: 192
McLaren do build their own production engines with their exclusive partner Ricardo and they are not standing still! They have the hybrid drive technology also. Let's see in 2020
SE calle.itw 14 Sep 2017 16:250
Posts: 4236
They do not build their own engines though, do they? Sure, they give input and design certain bits of their engines, and they do produce their own sensors, gearboxes and such, but thats where it ends. The McLaren F1 had an engine fully designed by BMW, and all McLarens up until coming models (which will once again be supplied by BMW) has an engine originally designed by Nissan, with small edits done by McLaren, but otherwise mainly revamped and built by Ricardo. And Ricardo, too, lack the facilities to build a proper F1 engine. Look at the bases Ferrari has in Maranello, and at Honda's base in Sakura. Building a road car engine vs building an F1 unit is basically as comparing my glass of water to the pacific sea.
DK RenaultFM1 14 Sep 2017 09:340
Posts: 98
I would like Haas and the smallere teams to signup with Honda because for sure they will get it right soon. They been make great motors and now their pride is hurt and omly way to save face again is to produce a WC engine. Gene Haas can you please make a contract with Honda!! And then start spend more money instead of complaining!! Just do it!
Posts: 501
I get what you're saying, but I'm not so sure if I would take that gamble if I'm HAAS, just yet anyway. No matter how much their pride has been hurt, it's not a given they will come good. A good example would be Toyota - they struggled for years, throwing money at it, with state of the art facilities with nothing to show for it, and finally just said F it and left. Honda during the BAR run didn't exactly set the world on fire either, so it's not a given they'll get it right, pride or not.
It made sense for Sauber to give it a shot before they became Ferrari's developmental team. That perhaps is the only reason HAAS should even consider it, because Sauber has essentially taken their place.
I could also see Williams considering it at some point, but how do you go from the most powerful engine on the grid, to the least powerful?
SE calle.itw 14 Sep 2017 16:280
Posts: 4236
I agree, I dont see HAAS making the switch. They simply have a too good deal with Ferrari as of now to justify the switch. As for Sauber... I still think they made a mistake, but I cannot really fault them for remaining with Ferrari. It was certainly a better choice than Renault would be in their position. And I agree about Williams, it'd be one thing if they could produce a competitive chassis, but, as evidenced this year, thats not really the case. They rely far too much on the Mercedes power, and even then they havent really been very competitive this year. A Honda unit would definitely place them at the back of the grid.
Posts: 501
I agree about Sauber. They choose the safe option, which is understandable, but in many ways also shows a profound lack of ambition. It should be every teams ambition to win races and championships, but Sauber seems to be happy just to participate, which is a shame.
Good point about Williams struggling the way they do, even with the most powerful engine. It's amazing how they've regressed this season.
Posts: 165
@MBMWE36 wow I really couldn't disagree more. Sauber picking Honda engines would have been the safe, cheap, "happy to just participate" option which would have cemented the team at the back of the grid for another x number of years.

To instead pick the much more expensive Ferrari engine shows ambition and a real desire to get back to a competitive performance level.
Posts: 165
As for Bernie: he's spot on again (as usual). It's going to be truly enjoyable hearing Alonso curse the Renault engine every time it breaks down.

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