McLaren-Honda May Be Heading For a Breakup

The Sun reports that the Brits want out of the toxic relationship.

byMack Hogan| PUBLISHED Mar 25, 2017 1:02 PM
McLaren-Honda May Be Heading For a Breakup

Woking-based Formula One giant McLaren is considering ditching Honda as its engine supplier, as seemingly-endless reliability problems have significantly impeded the team. The Sun has reported that McLaren, having now gone nearly 1,600 days without a win, is at its wit's end with the Japanese company that has failed to supply a reliable and powerful engine over the past three years. It's worth noting, however, that McLaren was in a bit of a slump since 1998, when it last won a Formula One Constructor's Title. (To put that in perspective, when McLaren last won, the Dodge Intrepid was on Car & Driver's 10Best list.)

Honda has only been supplying the team with engines since 2014, when McLaren dropped Mercedes as its powertrain provider. In that time, they haven't won a single race. Mercedes-powered cars, in the meantime, have gone on to win multiple championships. Honda-engined cars, well, haven't. 

So there seems to be adequate reason for McLaren to drop its Japanese partner—but the racing team is still entangled in a contract with Honda. The Sun reports, however, that the company is mulling buying the contract out and going with Sauber or Mercedes power. The team's racing director, Eric Boullier, reportedly "swerved questions about the move back to Mercedes." 

Earlier, however, Boullier did say that if the team switched to Mercedes engines, McLaren would be successful.

"Yes, we'd be winning again," he told Spanish newspaper AS.