Some would say its quite sad how McLaren have got themselves into this position, still without a win in the modern hybrid era, almost unheard of from a once dominating team who pride themselves on success.
They could have stayed with Mercedes as a customer, just as Williams have done, but quite rightly they said that you have to have something better to beat them, not just the same. The deal with Honda though has been anything but better, from starting on the back row of the grid at their return to the sport, to the recent disappointment during testing.
There is more at play here though, there is the reputation of the sport and looking down the lines at new manufacturers joining the sport. The plight of Honda, regarded as one of the best engine makers over the years has highlighted just how very difficult it is for an engine manufacturers to succeed with the current regulations.
Yes, Mercedes have actually done an outstanding job with the hybrid turbo engine, and in a way Ferrari has done so too. Renault, after a very slow start has really caught up to the leading Mercedes, but Honda has struggled
What sort of message does that say then? One that no manufacturer in their right mind would enter now, even if one or two left as there is little reward for the investment unless you hit the jackpot at the first attempt, and from the look of Honda, one of the most highly rated engine manufacturers, its not going to happen.
The same could be said about the small teams, Virgin Racing – HRT – Team Lotus/Caterham, all have now disappeared after they were drafted into the sport following budget cap which never came. Although Haas has made a decent attempt to break into the sport, that has only come about following considerable help from Ferrari and Dallara.
It’s a toxic mix, and looking down the line something must be done to both safeguard the teams which currently occupy the grid, while trying to attract new names to the sport – something which Formula E have been doing in droves for months.