Honda website
Honda website

FEBRUARY 7, 2018

McLaren happier heading into 2018

Jo Ramirez says he senses a very different McLaren as the British team prepares for 2018.

McLaren's long-time former team coordinator told Spanish radio Cadena Cope that dumping Honda means the team now "sees light at the end of the tunnel".

"They're much happier," said Mexican Ramirez. "They are working very well with Renault engineers because the European people are more open.

"I see them enjoying the moment and doing everything with a lot of passion because they know that at the end of the tunnel they will get results again," he added.

He said the fact that Red Bull has done well with the Renault engine will both put pressure on and motivate McLaren.

"They have done enough podiums and victories with this engine that they will have to do the same, because if we listen to what Renault and Prost tell us, the engine will at the level of the Mercedes of last year," he said.

"Maybe they will even make an incredible engine while Mercedes suffers. I don't know, but there is hope," Ramirez continued.

He also backed Fernando Alonso's decision to split F1 with sports cars this year, saying the Spaniard must have "a crazy desire to sit in the car".

"(Zak) Brown is helping him because it's what Fernando wants to do. In the past we saw F1 drivers racing every weekend in other categories, so in my opinion the more time you spend in a racing car, the better."

(GMM)