McLaren’s Honda decision ‘hasty’ – Villadelprat

Mar.5 (GMM) Former F1 engineer Joan Villadelprat wonders if McLaren was right to have dumped Honda.

Already last week, when Honda’s new works partner Toro Rosso topped the mileage charts in Barcelona, driver Brendon Hartley said McLaren’s decision may have been a “mistake”.

And now, Spanish former F1 engineer Villadelprat also doubts the wisdom of McLaren’s Honda axe.

“I already had reservations last year and I still do,” he told Marca.

“I thought it was a hasty change and that they would miss all the advantages. As a customer you always have limitations, especially it seems when you are with Renault.

“I think French pride will drive them to very much want to beat them (McLaren),” said Villadelprat, who worked for McLaren, Ferrari, Benetton and Prost.

He continued: “I think the McLaren is a very developed car aerodynamically, but as the year progresses, Renault will move ahead.

“They are not investing all of that money from Paris without their own ambitions.”

Villadelprat said all McLaren and Fernando Alonso can realistically hope for, therefore, is fourth place behind F1’s existing top three teams.

“I do not doubt that Fernando will do podiums, but further than that I think will be very difficult,” he added.

And he thinks that with a more reliable and powerful Honda engine, Toro Rosso could be a surprise of 2018.

“I do not rule out that they will be together with Renault and McLaren. I know very well that they fit perfectly with Honda and they want the project to work, as does Red Bull.

“I’m sure they (Red Bull) will take that engine in 2019 and will help in every way to develop it. Honda’s potential is enormous if someone helps them to channel it,” Villadelprat added.

Related News

  • 07/11/2017 Toro Rosso not worried about Honda switch Nov.7 (GMM) Franz Tost says he is looking forward to Toro Rosso's switch to works Honda power for 2018. McLaren has dumped the Japanese engine manufacturer after a failed three-year […]
  • 27/02/2018 McLaren dumping Honda was ‘mistake’ – Hartley Feb.27 (GMM) Brendon Hartley thinks McLaren dumping Honda at the end of last year was "a mistake". "I think they've made a mistake," the New Zealander told Marca sports newspaper on […]
  • 21/11/2017 Hartley not worried about Honda switch Nov.21 (GMM) Brendon Hartley says he is looking forward to switching from Renault to Honda power for 2018. Since joining Toro Rosso late this year, the Le Mans winner has been struggling […]
  • 01/03/2018 Honda ‘perfect’ at Toro Rosso so far – Hartley Mar.1 (GMM) Brendon Hartley says there is no sign of the sort of three-year horror that McLaren endured with Honda so far in 2018. With McLaren and Honda divorcing, the Japanese supplier […]
  • 08/04/2018 Honda boost could mean engine deal for Red Bull Apr.8 (GMM) McLaren figures have been left red-faced after being outperformed by their old Honda engines in Bahrain. Newly Honda-powered Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly will start the race […]
  • 19/09/2018 Honda poised to pass Renault for power Sep.19 (GMM) Honda could be poised to overtake Renault and cease having the least powerful engine in F1. Auto Motor und Sport (Germany) and Marca (Spain) report that in Russia, the […]
  • 17/03/2016 Honda to ‘break cycle’ in two years – Villadelprat Mar.17 (GMM) F1 veteran Joan Villadelprat thinks Honda can eventually succeed in formula one. "If they were alone, I'd say no," the Spaniard, a well-known former manager and engineer, […]
  • 28/06/2018 Red Bull will remain strong with Honda – Alonso Jun.28 (GMM) Fernando Alonso says Red Bull will remain a strong team even after switching to Honda power. Alonso had a bad experience with works Honda engines with McLaren between 2015 […]
  • 07/04/2018 Sainz backs Toro Rosso-Honda to bounce back Apr.7 (GMM) Carlos Sainz has backed his former team Toro Rosso to bounce back. Just after the Spaniard left for Renault, Toro Rosso surprised the paddock by performing well with its new […]
  • 12/04/2018 Axing Honda was McLaren mistake – Marko Apr.12 (GMM) Dr Helmut Marko says McLaren's 2018 car is obviously "not great". The British team went into Bahrain targeting the top three teams, but was ultimately outpaced even by the […]