The McLaren-Honda partnership has hit an all-time low this season. With only 425 laps under their belt and a pre season test riddled with reliability issues. It has meant that everyone’s patience has been tested to the limit. However, this is not the first time that the Woking team has struggled. Here are 7 of the worst seasons that McLaren have faced
Although their first partnership brought wins, titles and dominance, “Phase II” of McLaren/Honda relationship started on a bad note. No one could ever conceive that the Japanese giant was incapable of developing a strong power unit. Honda had the entire 2014 season to study their rivals and look for solutions. But the 2015 season proved to be a disaster in terms of performance and results. The Japanese were not good enough to develop the hybrid. Even the integration with the tight dimensions MP4/30 was a mess.
To make matters worse, Fernando Alonso had a mysterious crash during the Barcelona test. This limited his ability to contribute any useful data. But neither Alonso, nor Jenson Button could do much to savage a forgettable season. Only 29 points, 12 DNFs and ninth place in the Constructors championship, ahead only of Manor says it all. The token system limited what could be done to return to winning ways. The budget reduction due to the drop in prize money didn’t help either. The ninth place among Constructors the year before meant at least US$ 100 million less than a normal season.
With a more conservative approach – chassis and engine-wise – it was possible to climb the ladder, but reliability was again scarce. To make matters worst, it became clear that Ron Dennis had lost control of the team. Soon, a political skirmish started and it didn’t help on track progress.