Ayrton Senna, McLaren-Honda MP4/5B, 1990

McLaren-Honda rumours resurface

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Ayrton Senna, McLaren-Honda MP4/5B, 1990In the round-up: Rumours that McLaren will reunite with Honda in the future resurface.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

McLaren set to use Honda engines (BBC)

“McLaren are first expected to race with Honda engines in 2015.”

Alonso says the best is yet to come (Reuters)

“Last year was the best year of my career and I was very happy with the performance, but I think this year will be better.”

Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Testing more inconclusive than ever (F1)

“I would say that we never had a winter that was less conclusive than this one: the tyres last more or less, depending on how much temperature you are able to create. So I think it is impossible for all of us to read the pace of the cars and to make out any favourites.”

Bianchi sure Marussia making strides (Autosport)

“Even from my side, just from Saturday to Sunday, it is a big improvement. But we don’t know what people were doing so it is difficult to say what the [relative] improvement is.”

The Right Attire for Tyres (F1 Elvis)

“Without the correct chemical reaction of the compound, the tyre simply doesn’t stick to the road, the car slides around, not only making for a slower lap time, but importantly the sliding around overheats and quickly destroys the surface, making matters worse and you’ve lost your opportunity for the optimum lap.”

This is the year we’ll all find out just how good Lewis Hamilton is (The Independent)

Kevin Garside: “[Ron] Dennis has never allowed emotion to penetrate the economics of the deal. We are about to discover how mad he was to let Hamilton go.”

The mystery of Red Bull?s testing pace (NBC)

“To a man those who watched the RB9s on the track reported they looked stable and swift. It did not look like a slow car, just one that was carrying a lot of fuel.”


Comment of the day

@Vettel1 isn’t convinced Red Bull are in trouble:

I just don?t buy that Red Bull are two seconds slower than Mercedes; that is just compete illogical based on the base they have and what they achieved last year. Ferrari and Mercedes could certainly have showed us where they are relative to each other, as it did appear they were just copying what Mercedes were doing.

McLaren are a bit of an unknown currently though, although I doubt they?ve “done an F2012”.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to IDR, Jarred Walmsley, TommyB and Jake!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Tom Pryce was killed along with marshal Jansen van Vuuren in a horrible accident at Kyalami 36 years ago today. Van Vuuren had run across the track to attend to a car which had stopped when he was struck by Pryce’s car.

Image ?? Honda

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 70 comments on “McLaren-Honda rumours resurface”

    1. Mercedes Benz engines, Lewis Hamilton and Paddy Lowe to Brackley.
      Honda engines, Jenson Button to Woking.


      1. +1

        The criss-cross will work even more if Wolf-Brawn partnership does not work and Brawn moves to McLaren. A Tit for Tat by Whitmarsh & Ron for taking away their prodigy.

        So it is
        Brawn – Button – Honda
        Lowe – Hamilton – Mercedes

        1. @tmax I had exactly the same thought, though I’m not sure that Mercedes would be too concerned; the later those two combinations was certainly much more successful than the former (which was only together for a single season).

          What would be ironic, though, is that Hamilton stated that working with Brawn was one of the attractions of the move so a move to McLaren by Brawn might really annoy him. Having said that I can’t really see Brawn at McLaren – a return to Williams looks like a better fit.

    2. Regarding COTD, who says Red Bull are in trouble. Of what I’ve heard from Gary Anderson, RBR have the best, fastest and most planted car out there on the grid. Then again, he said the same thing last year, and coming to Melbourne we all saw a line of red-faced journos.

      1. There have been suggestions that RB may not be quite up to the pace, but I don’t think anyone is suggesting they are 2 seconds off the pace

        1. There are also journos (such as Gary Anderson, ironically) who claim that Vettel easily could’ve done a 1:19 in Barcelona, and predicts that they will blitz the whole field in Melbourne.

          RBR are both overrated and underrated at once.

        2. @jleigh – very true, that was a tad exaggerated! Nonetheless though, that gap is nowhere near what it will be in Australia I am very confident of.

      2. @kingshark – it was basically in response to a rather lengthy debate that occurred yesterday, where people assumed Red Bull were “sandbagging” in 2012 yet were genuinely off the pace and that may be the same this year. So really, I was just making it clear that it wasn’t reasonable to assume at this stage that they weren’t on Mercedes’ pace. If that’s clarified it for you! ;)

        1. to be fair @vettel1 , after looking more into it red bull are predicted to be the quickest still , so come Melbourne ill apologise if so , I just don’t get why they are not looking convincing in the times . I no its testing la la la but Red bull seem a few tenths off impo

          1. @danielc – If you read Keith’s article on the matter it will probably give you a better idea than anything I will say in a comment, for as much as I try to be impartial there will always be an element of bias!

    3. As a follow up to that DLR vs Alonso video, check out this one showing Alonso and Massa taking turns behind the wheel of a 458. Looks like Alonso really doesn’t take well to being a passenger.


      1. They make it look so easy!!

      2. Fernando looked so happy when they returned to the pits.

      3. @codesurge I can totally sympathise with that.

        Also, those new Ferrari overalls make them look like they’re wearing black armbands as if they were mourning someone.

    4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      5th March 2013, 0:38

      Nobody knows the true and full pace of the cars till Melbourne shows up. Period.

      1. Yeah…. but isn’t it fun to speculate? Question mark.

      2. And even then we won’t know.

      3. Absolutely, but as @aficion has said it’s good fun to speculate!

    5. Well done Max.

      1. Thank you very much @hohum!

    6. So what exactly does Benson base that story on? I missed the part where he got anything other than a denial or a no comment.

      1. Yeah that was a strange article built on rumour and nostalgia but no fact at all..

        1. It’s a pity he has written such an article. I was actually excited about it.

      2. Benson has written very much a
        Non article, the sort you would expect to find on a slow news week in the middle of the off season. It is not as if there isn’t any final pre season testing to comment on!

      3. After this was in AMS yesterday (in German), the BBC got the denial of McLaren to talk about it and Honda admitting that they are indeed thinking about it.

      4. To be fair, I read some more rumours. I believe AMUS had the story first, claiming Honda got a top bloke from PURE and that there were already some Honda engineers working in woking.
        But nothing official, so everybody can gracefully backpedal if desired.

      5. Nothing more than the early speculation puffed up by denials and history, might still be true, or false,though.

      6. I hope the rumours are true, but the evidence for a return is sketchy at best, so I don’t see it happening sadly. It would be great to see a manufacturer making a return though!

    7. I think Keith Collantine would make a better ‘Chief F1 Writer’ at the BBC…

      1. Agreed. Andrew Benson is really starting to get on my nerves.

      2. True, but I’d rather he stayed here.

    8. Ricciardo’s comment was interesting. Makes me wonder why the teams are testing and gathering inconclusive data (and freezing) in Europe over the winter, when there are F1 spec circuits ready and waiting to be used by the teams in Qatar, Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

      Having went to Europe for a week last week I can tell you Abu Dhabi is significantly warmer at the moment!

      1. But you probably did not want to bring a whole container of freight with you when you went back. Makes it a lot harder to do (and more expensive, esp. with teams bringing new bits even several times a day!)

      2. Were I to hazard a guess, I’d say there are a few factors in favor of European testing., with a primary one being logistics. The proximity of the Spanish tracks to team bases make it cheaper and faster to get equipment there. This means they can run development on parts longer and basically overnight what’s needed, as opposed to needing to freight cars out well in advance.

      3. They did test at Bahrain a couple of years back and it was constantly blighted by sandstorms. Also, getting a bit of wet weather testing is actually beneficial to most teams, and that is more likely in Europe. Having said that, the Jerez test made little sense so maybe that could be moved, but as mentioned, its lugging all the gear (and grosjean) around the world that’s the main issue…I think the mechanics do enough traveling as it is.

    9. “To a man those who watched the RB9s on the track reported they looked stable and swift. It did not look like a slow car, just one that was carrying a lot of fuel.”

      Didn’t I hear that last year too???

      1. I never understand why throughout their test programme they wouldnt push the car once to the absolute limit for just a single qualification lap. The sandbagging comments make no sense to me either. Perhaps the car is planted but a little too slow on the straights?

      2. I think it would make sense for Red Bull to have one of the fastest cars on the grid come Melbourne. After all, they’ve gone for an evolution of last year’s design, rather than a revolution, as McLaren have with their pull-rod suspension, for example. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they set the pace for the first phase of the season, until the season reaches Europe. Whether or not they can continue extracting pace from the car beyond that, however, is another matter altogether. McLaren will probably pull off their usual trick of having the fastest car at the end of the season, but if Mercedes or Ferrari can produce a few wins early on, Red Bull could fall behind and the championship would be wide open. They have to make the first half-dozen races count.

    10. Tom Pryce accident was one of the worst in history!

      1. Good thing Keith didn’t link to footage.

        1. @andae23 It’s a shame he didn’t. A lot of people haven’t seen it and it’s really worth having a look at, it’s the kind of accident that’s to horrible to think of and you wouldn’t really expect in the late 70’s anymore. Considering it was broadcast live on tv, a lot of people don’t seem to know about it and in my opinion that’s strange considering it was such a horrible accident.

          1. Do you mind if I don’t? I’m in the ‘not like watching people getting killed on YouTube’ bracket.

          2. Well the video can be found on youtube but I think it won’t be appropriate to post here.

            Anyways here the details of his death.


            Chilling and really tragic! Perhaps the worst in history.

            1. Just read the Wiki article. I kind of wish I hadn’t.

      2. @andae23 @roald @neelv27 Instead of fixating on his death, we should remember his life. He was a promising driver whose journey ended far too soon. Grab a copy of this:

        “The Lost Generation” (David Tremayne, 2006)

        1. @keithcollantine I own that book and I’ve read it. But let’s be honest here, the fact the book exists is because those 3 drivers died at a young age in tragic accidents. We should remember their lifes, but dying is as much a part of life as anything else is. Nice book though.

          @john-h It may not be fun to watch that sort of footage but it exists and is part of the history of the sport as much as a random win is. It’s a bit disturbing you somehow think I LIKE watching people getting killed on Youtube.

          1. Sorry, didn’t mean to insinuate that @roald .

    11. Happy birthday guys! That is for all of you @IDR, @Jarred-Walmsley,@TommyB85 and @jleigh

      1. eh, sorry Tom – still early morning! that should be @tommyb89

        1. Thanks BasCB, senior F1 Fanatic setting a new record: 52 years old F1F Fan!

          1. Congrats! :)

    12. @keithcollantine Any chance we’d see you appear on NBC’s F1 broadcasts in addition to their website?

      1. @codesurge It’s not on the cards at the moment, I’m just doing writing for them.

        1. @keithcollantine

          You’ll never get a proper job in F1 if you keep giving straight answers like that ;-)

    13. I was no fan of Honda when they were last in F1, but I hope they do make a return, if only because the number of engine suppliers in F1 is now unsustainably low.

    14. In unrelated news, is there anybody else that would like Ted Kravitz to be fired and replaced by Marc Priestley? I thought he was great on their testing coverage.

      1. I thought Ted and his parts on Sky made the testing. The coverage was always going to be good, but the Notebooks were great. They should just have both though, that would be an awesome pairing.

        1. Yeah, would be an improvment for sure. I used to like Kravitz back when he was on BBC but since Sky has been giving him more and more airtime I’ve become irritated with his lack of actual knowledge, especially since BBC now has Gary Anderson. Somebody who has worked in the business will have much better insight as opposed to Kravitz being extremely exited by a new hole in the Ferrari frontwing endplate and telling everybody how wonderful this new hole is before they even tried it (and enevetably end up not using it at all).

          1. Sky brought a former McLaren top mechanic next to Ted, really good idea, had fun listening to the guy

            1. @wackyracer That’s Marc Priestley, whose F1 Elvis blog features in this round-up.

    15. Although Benson is a hardly credible source, to hear rumblings resurface about Honda returning is nice. Im sure there must be some fire somewhere if there is smoke. So hopefully its true. It would be great to see Honda back, and hopefully Volkswagen and Porsche as well (fat hopes)

      On Alonso raising his game….I hope he can carry his 2012 form over to this year. The car doesn’t seem too bad, he should be able to fight for wins. Ferrari have shown they are pretty good at playing catch up, with a better canvas to work on, they could only get better. Its about time he won his 3rd title, he has come too close too many times in the last 6 years.

    16. This morning I turned on the HD recordings of previous test to set the mood for work.

      With every passing moment I find it more and more stupid how the coverage is made. The “special” kid treatment.
      WOW! Two 3D slightly rotating words, AMAZING!!!

      Kill the 3D coverage with fire!

    17. vuelve kowalsky
      5th March 2013, 11:10

      i always thought that honda had to come back to f1 sooner or later. What a waste of cash his withdraw in 2009. They made some people very rich though. Are they planing to win something this time around, or planning to make some millionairs on the way out again?

    18. So if McLaren teams with Honda in 2015, does that make Force India as Mercedes’ prefered partner in 2015?

    19. Seriously Alo needs to shush a bit lol , the great Olympian fitter than any1 else and give me a car that is 2 tenths away and ill be champion he isn’t getting any younger and it’s since 06 he last won it . He is a great pilot , but when do you see Vettel saying how good he is and saying he is the best when he is a x3 champ. Hamilton could say give him reliability and he will be champ after all he won same amount of races as Vettel and more poles .Its all ive heard from him all winter

      1. Hamilton could say give him reliability and he will be champ after all he won same amount of races as Vettel and more poles

        Actually, while Hamilton took more poles, Vettel took more wins.

        1. yes you are right Vettel 5 Ham 4

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