Masashi Yamamoto says Honda and McLaren relation didn’t work out due to too much mutual respect and short on communication.
The much talked about re-union of McLaren and Honda didn’t work out eventually with the two parting ways in 2017, where the former joined hands with Renault while the latter moved on to partner with Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri and Red Bull.
Both found success eventually as McLaren managed to claw itself back into the midfield pack with Renault and now with Mercedes, while Honda got race wins and podiums and also a drivers’ championship with Red Bull via Max Verstappen.
Even before that, Honda decided to pull the plug on its F1 programme citing carbon neutral as their main focus. They are still to help Red Bull in the coming season, but Milton Keynes will house most of the power unit production and development.
Looking back at the difficult times, Yamamoto feels that the mutual respect between McLaren and Honda was supreme which was one reason for things to not work out alongside the communication gap. But he feels, they managed to rectify it with Red Bull.
“Starting from McLaren days, we have learnt a lot from them but we think we had a mutual respect too much,” said Yamamoto. “That’s why we had maybe a shortness, a little bit, of communication and then it was a shame that the project didn’t go well. And with Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri, we had the restart with them, and we have learnt a lot further with them again.
“And then we prepared many things for further development of the power unit. And with Red Bull Racing, of course as you saw, we were fighting for the Championship. Having data from four cars enabled us to develop a lot. It’s obviously a top team and it’s great that we were fighting for a championship with them.”
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