Formula One: McLaren is Being Humiliated

Formula One team McLaren is being pushed to their breaking point as yet another failed Grand Prix weekend looms ahead of them.

What can you say about your performance when your drivers are handed 35 and 40-place penalties on the starting grid due to the fact that you’ve got to swap out parts like hot potatoes? Probably nothing good. Unfortunately for McLaren, that’s exactly the reality that they’ve had to contend with in what has now begun to feel like an eons-long battle against competent performance. The team has been humiliated, and it’s not showing any signs of stopping.

Any hopes of Honda fixing their issues so far have been outright obliterated. To say that the Japanese manufacturer has dropped the ball would be the century’s greatest understatement. Even though they’ve managed to have short flights around several tracks – even with Fernando Alonso finally finishing the race on his native Spanish track, the project has hit was is probably their wort weekend so far.

After both Alonso and Vandoorne failed to make it out of Q1, McLaren’s racing director Eric Boullier was quick to share his thoughts regarding the dumpster fire:

“I’m a racer like these guys [the drivers], so this is the most painful weekend I’ve ever had, I think.” – Eric Boullier

The humiliation at the hands of Honda continues on – and yet it need not to. It’s understandable that McLaren management must save face and continue along the path of “I couldn’t possibly comment” and “It’s far too early to tell” when it comes to placing their bid for a new customer engine for next year. After all, they’ve got to maintain some semblance of self-respect and integrity. But the longer they continue to work with Honda the more they stand to lose.

Boullier himself was quick to add his voice to the “we’re still with Honda” choir, saying that he does his best to not think about the future:

“I don’t think about it. Just race-by-race, and upgrade-by-upgrade, and we’ll see.” – Eric Boullier

For all we know, McLaren’s future plans to sever ties with Honda could very well have been fleshed out in earnest, and the company is merely keeping a lid on it so they may benefit from controlling the moment it hits the airwaves. And while that is traditionally a sound diplomatic technique, the longer they continue the association with Honda, the more their image will suffer.
It’s a given that many who have been following the sport know that the issue is out of the hands of McLaren at this point, but when you’re helming a once-legendary F1 team, this sort of performance will tarnish your image – regardless of whose fault it is.