McLaren better prepared with Renault than Honda

Published on 13 Feb 2018 12:09

McLaren’s chief engineering officer Matt Morris says that the Woking-based squad is better prepared for the upcoming season with Renault than it ever was with Honda. After three dismal years in partnership with the Japanese company, McLaren took the decision last year to part ways with Honda.

It announced that Renault would become its new engine supplier, with Honda moving to Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso. Morris says that despite the lateness of the deal in 2017, McLaren is more prepared than it has ever been when it was operating with Honda.

"Some of the things that we've been doing, in particular with Renault means I think we'll be better prepared for that first day in Barcelona than maybe we have been in the past with Honda," Morris said.

"It's always nice to be a little bit further ahead than wherever you are, but in terms of all the sign-off of the car, running it on the back of a Renault engine, we should be going into winter testing in a couple of weeks in as good a state as we can be," he added.

McLaren faced huge issues heading into the 2017 season after the Honda engine wouldn't fit properly into the chassis, before it then failed to fire up. However, Morris says there are no worries of a repeat heading into a new era with Renault.

"There were few weeks where it was a bit tight, but since then we've sort of been on a normal programme really [with Renault]," he said. "It's not like we've been playing catch up. We were playing catch up for two weeks to get back onto the normal programme.

"Even if we changed the engine earlier we could have done a lot of things earlier. But we try and push it as late as possible anyway, things like the chassis and gearbox layout, so it coincided with the last minute call, 'we really need to release the chassis now, Eric, Zak, can you tell me which engine we're putting in?' Luckily they sorted that one just in time."

Replies (12)
GB talktohenry 13 Feb 2018 12:33+2
Posts: 359
Wouldn't it be amazing if FA won the first race in a Renault.
Posts: 318
Would be a shame if we had 8-10 of the top cars retiring in the same race.
Posts: 140
You can dream :)

Australia might McLaren friendly track. But personally I think that season will be coming too soon for them to have chance of winning first few races. But I'm prepared to eat my word if they surprise in the fortnight.
GB Major Tom 13 Feb 2018 17:390
Posts: 143
Amazing indeed. Whilst they are definitely going to be nearer the front Mercedes are still going to be the team to beat.
US mcbhargav 13 Feb 2018 17:480
Posts: 799
Australia? Impossible. Monaco, Hungary, Singapore? may be/could be.
Posts: 21
mercedes out front unless something goes wrong.. ferrari slip back due to getting rid of allison maybe. a renault rbr will pick up the leftovers unless a paddy williams comes out fighting... we shall see!
US mcbhargav 13 Feb 2018 17:490
Posts: 799
I have a feeling that, Ferrari might slip further. But, we will come to know for sure, if Allison is really that good.
CA RacetoWin 13 Feb 2018 17:150
Posts: 95
Mclaren of the last few years like to create their own rumors and praises. They even made honda design a narrow power unit unlike the other engines and expected performance while minimizing its footprint. The mclaren car always had the most downforce of any car on the grid last year and still complained about top speed, i'm hoping mclaren struggles to stay in the top ten this year so all their cry babies can eat crow.

Now Mclaren says yes, working with renault is easy, yes we had to widen the chasis and suspension to fit their power unit, honda sucks, blah, blah, blah we're a great team.

these guys need a reality check, mclaren was a midfield team before they had the honda engines.
GB Major Tom 13 Feb 2018 17:42+1
Posts: 143
I don't think you can deny that the Honda engine has been the worst powerplant over the last three year both in terms of reliability and power.
Posts: 318
Renault is hardly an upgrade when it comes to reliability though is it?
Posts: 2
Since Mercedes took over Brawn F1 name 1 Mercedes customer team that has won a Grand Prix? Yes McLaren was using Mercedes engines but no customer team will beat them if they are running at the end of a race. I would say the same for Ferrari so I can see why Ron Dennis went with Honda. Honda promised more than they could deliver, hopefully with them in the Toro Rosso that will give them the time they need to develope their engine out of the limelight of a team who's only aim is to win races. We can see that Renault doesn't hold back anything from its customers as Red Bull won 3 races last year. McLaren was ok with Mercedes until they said they were moving to Honda then as you probably know you can run the same engine but the software in both are not necessarily the same. I am not involved in motor racing, I am just a fan so I don't know as fact what has happened, I am only speculating because these cars are computers and I can have 2 computers running on Windows 10 but 1 could be running on the latest update and the other could be 2 or 3 updates back. They will both work but 1 better than the other.
Posts: 625
Racetowin: Mate, it’s never good to wish ill on people. Is that how you get your kicks? McLaren have made some mistakes but they have a very hard working bunch of people in the team, do you wish them bad luck too? That is no way to live your life man. Just believe in karma and what goes around comes around. The stories about McLaren ‘demanding’ a smaller footprint PU are just that, stories. I believe Honda thought they could re-invent the wheel and they failed. There’s no blame here, everybody wanted to succeed but it didn’t work out and I think they did the right thing by going their
separate ways. Like any marriage, it’s not always destined to work. So be happy for both ex partners and wish them success, it will only enhance the sport..

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