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Thursday, March 07, 2013

McLaren Honda Reunion?

With all the buzz around possible McLaren-Honda tie up for F1 engine project. I still can't help but wonder why Ron Dennis is shown toying with Cosworth in the tooned episode. Given Ron and his penchant for attention to details ( or control freak nature, as some like to put it), that revelation is not just a slip for entertainment.
 
At that point, I was suspecting that Ron was now focusing on the McLaren sports car projects, and he has never masked his aspirations to be a British Supercar Marquee like Ferrari in Italy and he might have been exploring options of using Cosworth F1 personnel ( who will be done in F1 yet again) for his project. That way, he will have more control of McLaren's future. 

Collaborating with Honda while good on paper, has same issues that he had with Mercedes, or that Sir Frank had with BMW collaboration. In these collaborations, the bosses of big car manufacturing company want to be in control, which has normally never gone well.
 

Even when McLaren was the works team of Mercedes in F1 there were strenuous periods, when Ron was heavily focused on the McLaren technology center project and later when Ron launched McLaren MP4-12C in 2009.
 

Of course, the examples of F1 team and car manufacturer relation going sour that I have listed above are always British/European team and European car manufacturers. Whenever the Japanese car companies tied up with F1 teams in Europe, the results may have not come through, but the F1 team bosses in Europe have been in control. Part of it can be attributed to the cultural aspects of Europe and Asia and part of it has to be with how F1 personalities like Bernie, and Ron always make their financial backers feel that F1 or the F1 team is doing these sponsors a favor by letting them be part of the gang.

So McLaren Honda may not be a bad idea, and may not be as bad for Honda as their previous F1 experience with some British bosses at Brackley, who turned the F1 project into a sinkhole.  

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