F1 news: McLaren do not regret $100m decision to replace Honda with Renault

McLaren do not regret their “expensive” $100m split from Honda, insists the team’s chairman, despite it not improving their form in 2018. After three years of struggles with the Japanese manufacturer, McLaren decided to break their contract as their slump showed no signs of slowing and switching to become a Renault customer for 2018.

In breaking the contract, losing Honda’s free engines and financial backing as well as having to pay for Renault’s package, McLaren are understood to have lost in the region of $100m – something that led to a reshuffle of management and the departure of many senior figures.

McLaren’s poor performance with the Renault was another factor in the reason Red Bull decided to switch to Honda power units but the Woking team’s chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa insists there are no regrets over what happened.

“On the one hand frustrated, on the other we are committed to this,” he said. “The way we were heading [meant]…a change was bound to come. Tremendous respect to Honda, but the relationship wasn’t working so we had a civilised discussion and we decided to part ways.

“It was an expensive decision for us but it was in the long term interest of the company. So we don’t regret the decision.

“I’ve been in F1 since 2000 in the paddock and we’ve been owners since 2007, and people say: you should change or do this. But I’ve been here long enough to realise that shooting from the hip isn’t the solution. It is a gradual step of informed decisions of how to fix things and we’ve tried to do that.

“Management’s role is to manage the team. We are here to provide the resources and that is what I’ve kept pushing for: tell me what you need and we have agreed to support them.

“We will see this through. It is so frustrating because we are all racers at heart, but you just have to power through.”

Spurce: Fox Sports