JUNE 14, 2017
Honda admits test bench problem
Honda has given an explanation about the extent of its struggle so far in 2017.
The signs are growing stronger by the day that McLaren has now decided to dump its hapless engine supplier mid-contract.
"The rhetoric has changed," former technical boss Mike Gascoyne told British television Sky. "It just sounds like a decision has been made."
Some think dumping Honda, and switching to customer Mercedes power, could be a desperate effort by the Woking team to hang onto its frustrated top driver Fernando Alonso.
Asked if Honda or Mercedes power would make a difference, Alonso said: "I think it doesn't make any change to my decision."
Nonetheless, it is believed the final straw for McLaren was the days before Montreal, when Honda informed the team that a planned upgrade would not be delivered on time.
Honda chief Yusuke Hasegawa now explains: "We have not managed to get the right conditions on the test bench.
"Now we need to understand why there is a difference between the test bench and the track," he is quoted by Osterreich newspaper.
Some believe Alonso's team choices in F1 are severely limited for 2018, raising the prospect of a full-time switch to Indycar.
"I've said many times, a third world championship is still my biggest priority," the Spaniard insists.
"I have developed my skills in the last 16 years to drive F1 cars, so it's still the best thing that I can drive.
"If I cannot succeed here and win this third world championship, I still love motor racing and I will race in any series," Alonso added.