McLaren’s supremo Ron Dennis admitted that this year has been more challenging for McLaren-Honda than expected, but he is sure the reborn collaboration will bear fruit sooner than later.
McLaren switched to Honda from McLaren at the end of 2014 and doing so they revived the former McLaren-Honda collaboration which utterly dominated the seasons of 1988 and 1989. Expectations therefore were very high before the curtain fell at the season opener, but the reality showed the hill, which has to be climbed, is higher than thought.
“We had every reason to think that we would be in a better situation than the one we find ourselves in," Dennis explained in the latest edition of Autosprint.
Dennis, however, still believes McLaren embarked the right ship as they want to win titles which are not possible with customer engines.
"Our goal is to win the world championship," he said, "and that objective would not be within our reach if we continued with a customer engine.
"Look at qualifying at Silverstone," he said. "The factory team was almost a second faster than Williams. With a customer engine, you will never be able to close that gap.
"These engines are so complex that the systems must be in absolute harmony with the chassis. It requires a total commitment on the part of the suppliers and technical partners.
"That’s why I preferred the road with Honda. Because even though it will take some time, it is the best possibility for McLaren to return to the top.
Dennis denies that McLaren fell into despair, he builds on the success story of Mercedes which also needed some time to overcome early difficulties and conquer Formula 1.
"Even Mercedes took time to make their current team competitive," he insisted. "And at the beginning of our collaboration with Mercedes, things were not easy. We are facing a similar challenge now."
"Today we are not at the level we want to be, but I am certain we will get there sooner than people think.”
"It’s just going to take a little more time than we would have liked," admitted Dennis.