McLaren quiet over Honda axe regrets

Mon, 1 July 2019, 08:35

Jul.1 (GMM) McLaren boss Andreas Seidl is refusing to say whether he thinks the British team should have stuck with Honda.

Honda was McLaren’s works engine partner between 2015 and 2017, until the once-great team lost patience with the Japanese brand and switched to customer Renault power.

But on Sunday, Honda’s new works partner Red Bull broke through for their first win as Red Bull-Honda.

Seidl, McLaren’s new team boss, says the victory was “great”.

“It’s great to see a new winner in Formula 1,” he said, “not just for Honda but for Formula 1 as a whole.”

But Seidl, who has returned to F1 after a highly successful stint in charge of Porsche’s Le Mans project, would not say whether he thinks McLaren should have stuck with Honda.

“To be honest, that’s before my time so it’s not my concern.

“I’m dealing with the team’s current situation and the future, so I’ll refrain from commenting,” he said.

“We are pleased with our partnership with Renault, because the chassis and the engine are working together very well.

“Renault did a great job in the winter and now there are no questions about the engine.”

Another figure who might have had a sinking feeling with Max Verstappen’s victory in Austria is Daniel Ricciardo.

The Australian fled Red Bull to join the works Renault team for 2019, but in Austria he finished a distant 12th.

When asked what he felt when his former teammate crossed the chequered flag first, Ricciardo smiled: “I felt that I did not want to be twelfth.

“Something was wrong with our car this weekend. McLaren has the same engine but they have more downforce, a more efficient car, and they’re faster on the straights.

“Hopefully we can find the reason and fix it for Silverstone.”

As for Verstappen’s win, Ricciardo answered: “Max had a great race. It’s good for Formula 1 as well and I saw Mr Mateschitz earlier today and he’ll be happy.”

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