McLaren co-owner Mansour Ojjeh has compared the McLaren divorce from Honda to “irreconcilable differences in a marriage.” Last month McLaren confirmed that they would end their relationship with engine partner Honda after three disappointing years. Having finished the 2016 campaign in sixth place, McLaren-Honda had hoped to build on that this season. Instead their form slumped due to a lack of reliability and pace.
The two parties agreed to part ways at the end of this season with McLaren teaming up with Renault for 2018 and Honda partnering Toro Rosso. Ojjeh said “I don’t think I have to explain it’s been tough. It’s been tough for them also. I don’t think it was a lack of effort, and I don’t think it was a lack of effort on our part. It just didn’t work. It was obviously not good for them, and not good for us.”
“So in that case we each have to try something else. I hope it works out for them, and I hope it works out for us. Don’t forget, they could be great competitors. I’m happy that they’re staying in the sport. But sometimes things just don’t work out between partners. It’s like irreconcilable differences in a marriage or something. I think it’s the right decision that we go our ways. But as a team, we’re looking forward to a change.”
“They’ve done as much as they could. And we’ve done as much as we could, and it didn’t work. What happens as the consequences is for them and us. We’re both a little bit in the same predicament, if you want.” Ojjeh still believes that McLaren can return to winning ways with Renault power. We have to get this on the rails,” he said. “As a sports enthusiast, and as a sports man being here for so long, jeez, we want to win. This is our DNA, we’re here to win. We’ve been here before, and don’t forget Ferrari stayed 20 years without winning a championship. People forget that. But we’ll be back.”