12 OCTOBER 2017
The McLaren-Honda split is made official, and sets all sorts of other F1 changes into motion
Of all the various takes on why the
McLaren-Honda marriage ended in divorce,
the most poetic came from Honda itself.
“McLaren is sophisticated French
cuisine,” its motorsport boss Masashi
Yamamoto opined. “Toro Rosso is more like
a delicious homemade stew, where you can
add new ingredients...”
The formal dissolution of a partnership
that had been in freefall for months
surprised nobody (although STR might not
have anticipated being compared to
one-pot cooking). And it triggered all sorts
of other excitement across the paddock,
not the least of which was McLaren
cuddling up with Renault, which plans to
use the Woking squad as a benchmark for
its own factory team – potentially a stern
The renewal of Sauber’s Ferrari engine deal
might have strings – or drivers – attached.
The Scuderia is keen to place both Charles
Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi at Hinwil for
2018, effectively creating a Ferrari B-Team.
THE MUSIC FINALLY STOPS
will be expecting a
translate into less
time behind Toro
Rossos in 2018.
test, given McLaren’s longstanding claims of
having a great chassis in search of a worthy
engine. Whether Renault meets that
standard remains to be seen, but for
McLaren – and, McLaren fervently hopes,
wasted ace Fernando Alonso – the mere
hope of an upgrade seems to be enough.
(Whether the Spaniard had any realistic
options beyond McLaren is another matter.)
As well as a new benchmark, Renault
gets a new driver in Carlos Sainz, Jr., albeit
on loan for a season. Or maybe longer.
Although rumors that he could replace
Fernando Alonso’s team will use Renaults in 2018, while
Carlos Sainz, Jr.’s will use Hondas – although Sainz himself
will be in a Renault. Welcome to modern Formula 1...